This past Wednesday, November 10, 2010 the St. Maarten Department of Statistics (STAT) continued to lay a strong foundation for the launch of Census 2011 by conducting the final stage out of two trainings for the team of enumerators who will be going into local neighborhoods to conduct the Dutch St. Maarten Pilot Census.
The purpose of the Pilot Census is to test every phase of organization prior to the actual Census next year. 29 head enumerators, mainly teachers, underwent two days of trainings on how to properly conduct the Pilot exercise.
"The pilot trainings served to prepare and provide head enumerators with the opportunity to practice and test the questionnaires hands-on, as well as the process of implementation for the upcoming Census," stated Makini Hickinson, Head of the Department of Statistics. Head Enumerators were briefed on General Execution, Planning & Organization, Who to Interview, Completing questions and Interview Techniques & Logistics.
Also included, were segments of St. Maarten SuperHost, an internationally-certified customer service training program. Through interactive SuperHost exercises, enumerators were trained on communication skills (vocal, verbal & non-verbal) to multi-ethnic groups, which is essential to gain maximum participation by St. Maarten’s diverse population. In addition, to help enumerators cope with sensitive situations while conducting the census and prepare them with the skills necessary to make the general public feel at home, enumerators were engaged in the SuperHost presentation which provided key techniques, social, communication and fundamental customer service skills to help enumerators maintain their professionalism while conducting the Census.
The Pilot Census trainings were lead by St. Maarten Census Project Leader, Maurette Antersijn, alongside Barbara Perquin, Ellen Maduro, Zaida Lake and Menno ter Bals of Statistics Curacao. The St. Maarten SuperHost segments were led by certified facilitator Renaldo Baker.
The Pilot Census will be conducted from November 13 – 21, 2010, during the afternoon and evening times throughout St. Maarten. Within this trial, each of the 29 St. Maarten Districts will be visited by enumerators, and each Enumeration District will consist of seven homes selected at random to be interviewed. STAT requests the full cooperation of the general public, and these households in particular, during this essential stage to evaluate the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Census process.
It is important to note that neither the Pilot nor the official 2011 Census will cause any negative affect on undocumented individuals residing on the island, as no raw data will be shared with other government entities such as the Immigration Department. In fact, everyone’s participation is strongly needed, as this data will be to the benefit of all residents on the island, be they documented or not. All information will be treated confidentially and anonymously, and will be processed into statistics. This also pertains to data collected during the Pilot. The sole purpose is for testing and data gathered during this Pilot will not be published in any form.
STAT, St. Maarten SuperHost & IMC are pleased to join forces and prepare all involved persons and stakeholders within Country St. Maarten for the 2011 Census.