PHILIPSBURG - Following some minor adjustments to the 11-form questionnaire, as well as to some back-end processes, coming out of the PILOT last February, Department STAT and its interviewers are fully prepared to start the Household Budget Survey on April 1st 2015.
STAT recently concluded a 3-day ‘refresher’ training for the 14 interviewers who are tasked with the confidential gathering of data from households, concerning their income and expenditure patterns. The survey aims to capture a recent picture of the total budget of an average household on St. Maarten, and determine what portion of a households’ income is spent on various categories of goods & services.
The UN recommends carrying out such a national survey atleast once in the 5 to 7 years. Results from this sample-based survey, will enable STAT to make updated calculations of inflation and cost-of-living over the next 5-year period; it will also provide input to determine a poverty-line on the island.
Approximately 1,000 households have been randomly selected across Dutch St. Maarten to participate. For those selected, your participation is mandatory according to the Statistics National Ordinance (AB 2013, GT no.450).
The data-collection will be spread over a period of 9 months until December 2015. During this time, selected households will be required to participate for a specific period, either the first or final 14 days within a particular month.
Households will be asked to make note of every expenditure made during this14-day period and to save receipts of their purchases. They will also be asked about purchases made in previous months, and this data will be collected with the help of the STAT interviewer via tablets.
STAT has already made contact with many of the selected households, to give extra information about the survey, in addition to confirming a convenient period for the household, obtaining a household contact and informing on which STAT interviewer can be expected.
Given the level of details and sometimes sensitivity involved with this survey, STAT has partnered with Cost-U-Less, Le Grand Marche, Sunny Foods, United Telecommunication Services and the TelEm Group, to offer all households who have successfully completed their participation a redeemable voucher, as a token of appreciation.
STAT looks forward to the continued support from the St. Maarten community on this initiative and reminds households to ‘Box that Receipt!’