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The role of enumerators in Statistical Data collection

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1 The role of enumerators in Statistical Data collection
SADC Course in Statistics 28/03/2017 The role of enumerators in Statistical Data collection

2 Introduction Enumerators are the most important category of staff in the statistical data collection process. Why? They are in direct contact with respondents and thus have a great bearing on the quality of data collected and ultimately on the quality of statistical products coming out of the National Statistical Office. Their input can never be over emphasised in the evidence-based decision making process that is being implemented by/within the SADC member states.

3 Duties of enumerators Duties of enumerators can be broadly classified into the following categories: Pre–enumeration duties During enumeration duties Post-enumeration duties

4 Pre–enumeration duties
Attend training courses, that is, training of enumerators’ workshop Receiving enumeration materials and equipment from the supervisor Develop an enumeration schedule/itinerary Be familiar with the EA and the household/holding that he has been assigned to interview Checks and amend the EA map where necessary, and inform the supervisors of any changes

5 During enumeration duties
The core of the enumerator’s task is to: locate (or select) his/her sample members obtain interviews with them ask questions record answers as instructed and Complying with the requirements necessary for conducting a successful interview.

6 Locating/selecting sample members
To locate the respondent it is first necessary to construct a sampling frame, which may require field work itself – a process called listing. In some cases, enumerators are provided with random number tables and asked to select the sample.

7 Obtaining an interview
Arranging an interview is sometimes not as straightforward as it sounds; one has to consider the timing of the interview. If time is not considered, a lot of call backs will have to be done thus affecting the time allocated for the survey. Time can influence the accuracy of the data obtained. It is best practice to select a time that is convenient for the respondent and to follow the procedure as defined in the enumerator instructions manual.

8 Asking questions Enumerators are expected to: ask all applicable questions. ask them in the order given and with no more elucidation and probing than is explicitly allowed and, make no unauthorised variations in the wording of questions. In general, the aim is to attain uniformity in the asking of questions and recording of answers.

9 After recording all responses, the enumerator must:
Recording responses In most interviews, enumerators have to record answers/responses given by respondents. Exceptions occur when questionnaires are left to be filled in by the respondent and are later on collected by the enumerator e.g. in household expenditure surveys. After recording all responses, the enumerator must: edit the questionnaire to check that all questions have been asked and all responses recorded. ensure that he/she has ringed/ticked the right codes and check that there are no inconsistencies between answers.

10 Post enumeration duties
ensure that enumerator checking is complete. ensure that all questionnaires and equipment are accounted for. hand over all questionnaires (filled, spoilt & blank) with other literature and materials used in the survey to the supervisor. write a brief field report.

11 Equipment needed by an enumerator
In order to carry out his/her job effectively, an enumerator needs a number of items including; questionnaires ballpoint pens clip boards letter of appointment and/or identification waterproof bag or containers in which to store questionnaires (used or unused) from becoming wet and untidy schedule of work Enumerator Instructions Manual for consulting in case he/she has forgotten some concept(s) or definition(s), a notebook maps for recognition of EA boundaries

12 Characteristics of a good enumerator
Honesty In the sense of not falsifying or fabricating responses. However, it should be noted that honesty and integrity cannot be easily assessed at the recruitment stage but enumerators who are later found deficient on these scores should be quickly dismissed. Interest Interest in survey work is highly desirable. Errors and poor quality work are much more likely if the enumerator is bored and regards the work as valueless.

13 Characteristics cont’d
3.Knowledge of the customs, traditions and language of the target population This helps in the interpretation of questions, answers, and furthermore, in the avoidance of words or phrases that will/can embarrass the respondent. 4.Accuracy Enumerators should be accurate in their recording of answers, in the way they follow instructions, apply definitions and carry out their administrative duties.

14 Characteristics of enumerators cont’d
5.Adaptability If the enumerator is likely to be employed on a variety of surveys, including different types of questions, subjects and respondents, he/she should be a person who easily adapts to varying circumstances. 6. Personality and temperament The enumerator’s personality should be neither over-aggressive nor over-sociable. Pleasantness, politeness and a business-like manner is the ideal combination.

15 Characteristics of enumerators cont’d
7. Educated to the appropriate level They should be educated to a level that allows them to understand and follow instructions of the study. Self-sufficiency and independence The enumerator will be expected to work alone, at unusual hours and often in uncomfortable or remote surroundings.

16 Rules for enumerators The rules can be categorised as follows: Pre–enumeration rules During enumeration rules Post-enumeration rules

17 Pre-enumeration rules
He/she must know and follow the instructions manual Adhere to the dress code of the organisation that has engaged/employed you.

18 During enumeration rules
Reassures the respondent that all information collected will be treated as confidential and respects this promise. Complete interviews. An enumerator does his best to ensure the accuracy of the information collected. An enumerator always records information clearly and without the use of abbreviations, and Records events that occur differently from the planned activities and reports them to the supervisor.

19 Post enumeration rules
Knows and complies with the Statistics Act regarding the work as an enumerator. An enumerator always carries out checks on consistency, completeness and clarity immediately after the interview, and Delivers all the forms and equipment to the supervisor on time and in full.

20 Resources Enumerator’s Instructional Manual for Swaziland Agriculture Survey 2005/2006 The Republic of Zambia’s Post Harvest Survey 2001/2002 (For small and medium scale holdings) Interviewer’s Instructional Manual The 2002 Zimbabwe Population Census Enumerator’s Manual The 2006 Zimbabwe Agriculture and Livestock Survey Enumerator’s Training Manual PowerPoint presentation by George Sibanda on the duties of enumerators, characteristics of enumerators and rules to be followed by enumerators in the collection of statistical data.


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