The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Planning and Development is announcing to the public that the Central Statistical Office (CSO) will be conducting one of the most wide-ranging surveys involving the condition of women and children in Trinidad and Tobago from August 1st to November 30, 2022. According to the United Nations, women and children are a largely under-represented group in national surveys across the world and the CSO will address that through this survey exercise.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a household survey implemented by countries under a programme developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide internationally comparable, statistically rigorous data on the situation of women and children. Once completed, this CSO implemented survey will have some of the most comprehensive data on the status of women and children in Trinidad and Tobago. The last such surveys were conducted in 2000, 2006 and most recently 2011. Originally scheduled for June 2020, the MICS was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CSO will administer the 2022 Trinidad and Tobago MICS to a representative sample of approximately 9000 households using Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing technology for the real-time collection of data. Fieldwork will last for four months from the period of commencement. A list of all of the communities to be covered in the sample will be available on the CSO’s website. The CSO worked closely with UNICEF to ensure that all requirements have been met for the MICS.
The MICS is the largest source of household survey data of its kind covering a wide range of topics on women and children that include: demographic characteristics, literacy and education; clean water access, sanitation and hygiene; water quality; energy use; reproductive health; child mortality; nutrition; child health; child development; child protection; child functioning; victimization; social transfers; subjective well-being; mass media and information and communication technology (ICT); tobacco and alcohol use as well as HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour.
Minister Beckles notes that although the objectives of this survey are varied, one key goal the MICS intends to achieve is the collection of disaggregated data for the identification of inequities and disparities to allow for evidence based policy-making aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable in our society, which includes our nation’s women and children. This data will help to monitor Trinidad and Tobago’s progress in achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goal 5, which focuses on gender equality, through Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030.
Over the past five weeks, the CSO has implemented a training programme for officers, inclusive of field practice exercises, where staff had the opportunity to conduct live household water testing in close to 10 communities, under the supervision of Water Quality Consultants. A pilot of the survey was conducted in various parts of Trinidad which allowed field staff to get comfortable with every element of survey work, map reading and location, interviewing and sending completed data to supervisors in preparation for the actual fieldwork related to the MICS.
The public is asked to note that all field staff will be dressed in light blue T-shirts for identification purposes and caps with the CSO logo, MICS logo and UNICEF logos. They will be in smaller teams of 4 or 5 people, visiting households in selected enumeration districts. The field staff will also have CSO ID cards, tablets, bags and umbrellas, visiting households, testing drinking water and interviewing households. Approximately 35 interviewers, 10 supervisors, 10 water quality testing officers and 6 observers will comprise the team administering the survey.
All information collected during these exercises will follow strict confidentiality protocols and will not be shared outside of the exercise. The CSO encourages all citizens in the sample communities selected to participate in the exercise and citizens can contact the CSO at 624-7001 and visit www.cso.gov.tt if there are any queries or concerns.