Jamaica News: The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is appealing for members of the public to cooperate with the officers who are out in the field gathering data for the 2018 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC).
The data collection got under way on May 16 and will continue until September 7.
Director of Surveys, Dr. Natalee Simpson, is encouraging householders to accommodate the interviewers who may visit their homes.
“What we ask is that persons accommodate us when we come, because it (survey) is of national importance. It is about policy development, it is about making plans that will impact persons living in the country, and so, if we don’t have this data, we can’t make informed decisions,” she says in an interview with JIS News.
She assures that all information provided will be kept confidential.
“We all here at STATIN, including our field staff, sign a secrecy oath/confidentiality statement, so we have to keep the information confidential. All information that we obtain during our survey… when released, is only released in its aggregated form,” she points out.
“So you wouldn’t be able to tell that a particular dwelling was selected and the specific number of persons living in that dwelling, and you will not be able to tell that this information is associated with that dwelling,” she notes further.
Dr. Simpson says that all the interviewers are provided with an identification card with their name and picture as well as STATIN’s name and logo. She is urging parsons to contact the agency if there are doubts or concerns.
“If persons are sceptical or want to just verify the persons who present themselves as STATIN interviewers, please feel free to call our offices at 630-1600. You can ask for either myself or Damion Tyrell, he is the Director of Field Services,” she advises.
The annual JSLC is produced jointly by STATIN and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
STATIN is chiefly responsible for the planning and execution of fieldwork, editing and coding, and preparation of the datasets and appendices for the annual report. PIOJ is responsible for the overall preparation and compilation of the annual publication.
The survey is done on a yearly basis, with the exception of a census year. It was conceived of as a monitoring system for the evaluation of the quality and reach of Jamaica’s social services.
Dr. Simpson, in outlining the importance of the annual survey, says the information garnered helps to inform policy decisions and impact economic development.
She notes that the survey has been used to provide baseline information necessary to develop socio-economic policies and provide feedback on the effectiveness of such policies.
Dr. Simpson tells JIS News that the JSLC collects information on socio-economic standards and overall well-being.
“So, for the purpose of the survey, we ask a number of questions on things like educational attainment, housing, social security, whether or not you have received a Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) benefit, income consumption and expenditure,” she informs.
“There are questions on health, related to whether somebody has visited a public health facility within a certain period, if someone is suffering from certain illnesses or chronic condition, or if persons are going to hospitals and waiting a long time. So, information from this survey will be used to inform some of those policy initiatives,” she notes.
The questionnaire for the current JSLC covers areas such as health, education, social protection, daily expenses, food expenses, consumption expenditures, non-consumption expenses, housing and related expenses, inventory of durable goods, miscellaneous income, information and communications technology, labour force, early-childhood development/health roster, and time use.
The 2018 JSLC sample includes 480 Enumeration Districts (EDs) and within each ED, 16 dwellings are selected using a multistage random selection sampling technique. Therefore, more than 7,500 dwellings will be visited during the 2018 JSLC fieldwork exercise.
The JSLC has become vital to monitoring the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular goals related to no poverty, zero hunger, quality education, clean water, and clean energy.
“There is a goal for no poverty, and one of the main indicators that comes from the survey is the poverty rate. So, it is not only used to develop policy and plans, but to monitor our progress towards the SDGs,” Dr. Simpson points out.
Persons affiliated to the University of the West Indies can access the information through the data bank at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies
Source: JIS News