Business Establishment Census Pilot starts on Monday
The Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO) has completed a training of field workers for the Business Establishment Census (BEC) pilot.
Consequently, Government Statistician, Mr. Benuel Lenge, has confirmed the census pilot fieldwork will be conducted over the period of four weeks beginning next Monday, 27th of June.
There will be two teams in the field for piloting the census, with one working in SANMA Province and the other in SHEFA Province.
Each team will pilot the census in both urban and rural settings in order to test the questionnaire and data collection methodology, among other things. The pilot will indicate readiness for the full census to commence later in the year.
The two pilot teams will be working in selected areas over the next four weeks, from the 27th of June to 22nd of July.
These include SANMA Rural (South East Santo, Canal Fanafo, East Santo, East Malo, and West Malo Area Councils), Luganville (East and West Municipal Wards), SHEFA Rural (Tanvasoko and Vermali Area Councils) and Port Vila (Central Ward).
The VNSO is appealing to the general public as a whole, and especially business owners in the above areas to please be aware that BEC teams will be working in their areas over the next four weeks, and to cooperate with the teams should their business be selected for an interview.
The Pilot BEC will provide vital information that will be use to aid the actual fieldwork of the census.
Before the actual census, the Pilot census is conducted since it is very important to test the questionnaire of the census.
This is to make sure the wording of the questionnaire does make sense, and if there are any errors that needs to be spotted.
It also includes the lay out of the questionnaire and the logic links for each question.
It tests the methodology behind the questionnaire, the links, the context and the nature of the questionnaire.
The pilot also trials the preparedness of the logistical arrangements with regards to the networks done with Area Administrators, and Area Secretaries. The exercise will also help identify challenges the teams will face. This will later help the team to better manage risks in the actual census.
This pilot will also help the team to find out how much effort is needed for the actual census undertaking.
The VNSO is also taking this opportunity to remind all business holders that information provided to a trained interviewer is treated as confidential and prohibited by law to be disclosed.
According to the Statistics Act of 2022 any person employed by the VNSO that knowingly discloses any information relating to any person is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding VT2, 000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.
“We take this very seriously and all the trained interviewers have signed the secrecy agreement,” Mr. Lenge stated.
“It is important for the public and businesses to be aware of this data collection initiative, its intended purpose, and to participate in the survey if their business is selected for interview.
“The VNSO would like to thank the business owners in advance for your support as we commence this important undertaking.”