By: Curtis Morton
Charlestown –Nevis—Deputy Director at the Social Services Department in Nevis,Miss Joyce Moven on Wednesday, May 27 revealed that a national household registry survey will commence on Nevis, starting on June 1st.
‘We are currently in an advanced stage of finalizing plans for the survey,’ she said.
The program which was developed through Ayala Consulting, a firm out of Central America, is a means of ascertaining persons within the communities of St.Kitts and Nevis who are in need of public assistance.
She indicated that starting on Monday 1st June, some eight enumerators will be going throughout the island with electronically prepared surveys.
The information will be collected by electronic tablets and the survey will be done on a parish by parish basis, starting with the parish of St.John’s. The information will be uploaded to the main data base, on the same day.
The exercise will last for approximately twenty days and heads of households will be interviewed.
Miss Moven beseeched members of the general public to be kind and courteous to the enumerators and to give accurate information.
‘Please note that this is not a survey to deal with taxing you. It is a survey to seek to assist you further,’ she noted.
Miss Azilla Clarke, director of Social Services and Community Development on St.Kitts who was on Nevis for the day, urged Nevisians to participate in the mass registration for the national household registry
She indicated that the social protection reform process started in 2010 within the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis.
It is the product of the collaborative efforts of the World Bank; UN women and UNICEF who jointly funded a social safety net assessment.
This assessment took a look at all of the services being offered to poor and vulnerable persons in St.Kitts and Nevis. This includes some forty services at present.
Based on their assessment, they pointed out thirteen recommendations for things to change.
She stated that thus far, the Government of St.Kitts and Nevis has been able to do work on five of the said recommendations.
She was quick to point out that in 2012, St.Kitts and Nevis became the first country in the Eastern Caribbean to create its national social protection strategy. This document succinctly states how the Government of St.Kitts and Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration will take care of those who are poor and vulnerable.
Since then the Social Services departments have consolidated some of the services currently being offered. Hence the introduction of the RISE program and now the implementation of the National household registry which effectively is a data base of all of the households within the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis from which such information will be gleaned in terms of name, age,gender,level of education, socio economic information etc.
This will be placed into the computer system and a proxy means test will be applied. This is a test that is weighted based on what the general public has helped the department to decide as the basic standard of living in both St.Kitts and Nevis.
The households will then be ranked as Indigent; Poor; Vulnerable or Non-poor
Householders will then be informed as to what services they have the RIGHT to avail themselves to.
She noted that persons may query as to how the survey will benefit them individually but pointed out that it is a known fact that there are many persons who are in need of assistance but are not currently receiving such assistance due to several reasons which include the fact that they may have sought assistance before and were refused; they may be too proud to seek such assistance or maybe they just do not trust the system.
She also stated that current assistance being provided by the Nevis island administration and the St.Kitts –Nevis government, may not match the needs of certain individuals and the survey will seek to acquire relevant information from selected households to determine the specific need of such individuals and then the department will put measures and services in place to rectify and deal with such issues.