27 March 2020

To strengthen their data collection capacities and strategies, the Pacific Community recently convened a workshop in Nadi, Fiji.

Between 2020 and 2022, eight Pacific Island Countries and Territories will embark on fact-finding missions to help identify the children and women most in need in their countries: They will conduct household surveys, key data sources for official statistical indicators. Three types of surveys have been planned: Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), in Fiji, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands; a Labour Force Survey (LFS) in Kiribati; and Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES) in Tonga, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands. Each of these surveys plays a vital role in informing programmes and policies that protect the most vulnerable, while also allowing countries to monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.


Guaranteeing the best methods

The Pacific region is considered data poor; for some participating countries, this will be the first time they are conducting the comprehensive LFS and MICS surveys. Their survey managers and data collectors must be well-prepared and armed with the right knowledge to execute their work with purpose and confidence. To strengthen their collection capacities and strategies, the Pacific Community recently convened a workshop in Nadi, Fiji, attended by 18 participants representing the eight countries’ national statistical offices. 

A follow up to the HIES workshop held in 2019, this year’s scope widened to include sampling and planning for LFS and MICS. This is important because capacity building around household survey sample design and implementation of these types of surveys helps promote standardization across household surveys in the Pacific. 

Participants built their knowledge and application of several methods and tools:

  1. Sampling concepts and theory
  2. Sample design 
  3. Sample selection, weighting and estimation 
  4. Core questionnaires and use of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI)
  5. Field planning and costing: E.g., staffing, timeline, # of teams, logistics 
  6. Documentation of sampling strategy 

The content helps prepare data collectors for the rigours of the upcoming surveys, challenging them to think critically about sample design and related topics through hands-on, practical sessions.


Leveraging resources

The wide range of tools and templates available on the MICS website were also discussed, which offer detailed guidance on implementing the survey. Participants now have access to vital information that enable data collection efforts to run as smoothly as possible and be held to the highest standards.

Countries that just completed or are about to complete the MICS survey (Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu) were provided a platform to share challenges, lessons learned and best practices, allowing neighbour States to leverage these experiences as data efforts in the region move forward.

Statistics New Zealand, Australian Bureau of Statistics, UNICEF, and the World Bank helped organize this important workshop.