Friday, November 13, 2009


Due to the size and complexity of census operation it is likely that several problems and errors may occur. With this in mind, a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program was planned to effectively manage the interactions among people, technology, inputs, processes and systems.

As part of this program, the conduct of a Pilot test took place from the 17th August to 17th September THROUGHOUT Trinidad and Tobago. A pilot test is like a dress rehearsal for the census, it is a common statistical practice and an effective quality management tool. Its purpose is to test either the entire operation of conducting a survey or census or to test some major aspect of it. The results of the Pilot will be used to refine or if necessary to redesign the processes which were tested.

The operations selected to be tested were:
The content and design of the questionnaire
The enumeration strategy
The cartography
The training programme designed for field personnel.
The data processing strategy

Benefits of Conducting the Census Pilot

Evaluation of the census questionnaire. The Pilot informed on the suitability of the census topics by respondents behaviour/reactions, their willingness to respond and the frequency of answers like ‘don’t know’, ‘not stated’. Associated closely with the suitability of the questions was the design of the questionnaire. Fieldwork tested the flow and clarity of the questions as well as the wording/formulation of the questions themselves.

The accuracy and completeness of response categories were examined

Operational problems were disclosed

The average length of an interview provided by the Pilot assisted in the estimation of the 2010 census enumeration period. Similarly, data processing of the pilot provided better estimates of the census data processing activity.

The adequacy of the training procedures and other written instructions were also tested.

The effectiveness of the control documents was gauged in sufficient time for redesign or amendments.

Interviewers’ remarks explained overall problems arising during execution and administrative arrangements were planned to correct the deficiencies.

Mapping inaccuracies in the selected areas were revealed.

The processing of the pilot questionnaires tested the capabilities and efficiency of not only the new hardware and software acquired but also the newly recruited Information Systems Staff.
The conduct of the Pilot at this time allowed sufficient time for remedial action before May 2010, the scheduled date for the start of Census Enumeration.

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