The Pilot Survey for the 2011 Population and Housing Census was conducted on the 17th-31st August in Trinidad and on 31st August to 14th September in Tobago. The pilot will test:

  • The content and design of the questionnaire
  • The enumeration strategy
  • The cartography
  • The training programme for field personnel
  • The data processing strategy

A total of three hundred (300) households in Trinidad and thirty five (35) households in Tobago were interviewed.

Thirty (30) EDs in Trinidad were listed and seven (7) EDs one/parish were listed in Tobago. The EDs were subjectively chosen to represent particular areas of interest where enumeration was expected to be difficult.

Trinidad was divided into three (3) Regions- North, South and Central with three (3) Field Supervisors. Each Supervisor was responsible for five (5) enumerators.

Each enumerator in Trinidad listed two (2) EDs and interviewed ten (10) households/ED.

Tobago’s pilot was conducted by one field supervisor and three enumerators. Each enumerator listed two EDs, one/parish, and the EDs from the seventh parish were done by the group of three enumerators. Five households from each ED were interviewed.

The results of the Pilot were as follows:

Completed interviewsNo contactsRefusedVacant buildings
Total299 (89%)29 (9%)2 (.6)5 (1.4%)

Some of the difficulties experienced included:

  1. Mapping inaccuracies,
  2. Accessibility to high income areas and gated communities and
  3. Accessibility to remote areas and difficult terrain.

Popular recommendations were;

  1. The communication strategy should alert businesses that they too had to provide critical data.
  2. Management of gated communities should be contacted before census enumeration
  3. Field officers should be informed about their remuneration package before they begin work

At the end of the pilot several changes were made to the 2011 Population and Housing census questionnaire.

Implementation of the Training Programme


The main objective of the training programme was to ensure that the knowledge and skills to collect quality data on the field are transferred to each member of the field staff using a standardized approach.

Specific Objectives

  • Improve the effectiveness of Managers and Supervisors
  • Improve the effectiveness of enumerators
  • Promote cohesive field relations
  • Build strong work teams
  • Foster problem solving
  • Improve organizing and reporting skills
  • Increase understanding of data collection instruments and census related documents so as to improve overall performance

Hence the training programme

  • Used appropriate training methods and materials
  • Provided quality information to field staff
  • Provided this information in a supportive and non coercive environment
  • Was practical- not just theoretical, but a practical informational approach to solving every day challenges
  • Was conducted only by experienced and fully trained instructors
  • Was monitored and regularly evaluated

Census Manuals & Related Documents

Concepts & Definitions Manual
Supervisors Manual
Trainers Manual
Enumerators Manual
Editing & Coding Manual
Visitation Record
Control Forms

Level I – Training of Trainers

Members of the Census Technical Staff (5) met with Zone Coordinators and other experienced senior technical staff of the CSO (approximately 12 persons) in several meetings over one week to discuss the completion of the questionnaire and a best practice training methodology. This method was utilized since many of these potential trainers were members of the Internal Census Working Group who participated in the design of the questionnaire and were already familiar with the census instruments.

Seven (7) Zone Coordinators were selected from the Assistant Director, Senior Statisticians and Statisticians 11, the Chief Census and Surveys Officer of the Central Statistical Office and Census-experienced senior technical staff. One Zone Cordinator was a retired senior public servant with census experience.

The seventeen trainers were known as the core trainers and as seen in the above table, this level was done during the period 25th November to 3rd December.

Level II – Training of technical Area Supervisors

A total of one hundred and three technical area supervisors (103) were required for the census. There were 4 classes of 25-26 persons requiring 8 facilitators. The eight facilitators were selected from the 17 core trainers.

Since training was a duty of Technical Area Supervisors (TAS), all one hundred and three of them were expected to become trainers. Therefore, at the end of this level, the cadre of trainers was expanded from 17 to 120.

This level was conducted during the period 11th -29 January 2010 4.00 – 7.00 pm from Monday to Friday and 9 am to 12 noon on Saturdays At the end of this level a test was administered. The overall pass mark was 83. Although all TASs were expected to become trainers, the outstanding performers became trainers at the next level.

Level III – Training of Supervisors & Editors

The next level included a total of 612 supervisors and 306 field editors, equivalent to 918 persons. These were managed in thirty seven (37) groups of 25/26 persons and trained by seventy four (74) facilitators

The seventy four (74) trainers were selected from the set of 120 trainers.

This level was conducted on the 1st -19th March 2010, Monday to Friday at 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm and Saturdays at 9.00 am to 12 noon,

At the end of this level a test was administered. The overall pass mark was 78. To be a trainer the test pass mark was set at 80.

Level IV – Training of Enumerators

Training of Enumerators was conducted during the period 22 November to 08 December, 2010 at selected venues within enumeration zones throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The estimated number of Enumerators needed to conduct the Census was 2,754 and the number required for training, taking into consideration drop – outs and failures was approximately 3,029.

Based on an average of about 25-27 trainees per class, there were approximately 115 classes spread throughout all zones. Maintaining the same ratio of trainers to a class as was used in the previous levels of training (2 trainers per class), 230 trainers were required.

All training centres and the number of classes were already selected by the respective Zone Coordinators and had to be re-confirmed because of the new date. Also, a cadre of 230 trainers selected from Core Trainers, Technical Area Supervisors and Field Supervisors had already been identified and were all still available for the new census date. At the end of the training programme for Enumerators, 8th December, 2010, a test was administered to all trainees. This test paper was designed for scanning, utilizing TELEFORM software. All written test papers were scanned and results were available by 17th December, 2010. The pass mark for this test was 50 marks.

A listing of all successful candidates was passed on to Zone Coordinators for final selection and work assignments. This was done within the period 18th to 23rd December, 2010.

All trainees were asked to return to the centre about one (1) week later, that is, from 28th to 30th December to check whether they were successful and the date, time and venue where they would need to report in order to meet with their Supervisors to collect their workloads.

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