|CHAPTER 6. FIELD OPERATION
The number of staff required for the field operation was worked out by the Cartographic Unit, on the basis of the expected number of households by region and on the workload statistics at the previous census.
An estimate of the number of households by region for year 2000 was derived using as benchmark, data obtained at the 1990 Census. Various sources of information were used to update the figures. These were: the population growth rate from the Demographic Unit, information collected at intercensal surveys as well as information gathered on the field by officers of the Cartographic Unit.
The number of Chief Enumerators for the housing census enumeration and the number of enumerators for the population census enumeration were then worked out using workloads at the previous census as guidelines. However, factors such as the spread of the households, the type of terrain, the number of special enumeration units such as hotels and institutions, the number of bungalows, vacant housing units, buildings under construction and establishments were considered to ensure an equitable distribution of workloads.
The number of field officers at higher levels in the hierarchy was derived using staffing ratios of the previous census and taking into consideration working conditions on the field.
It is to be noted that the number of enumerators was reviewed on completion of the housing census enumeration since the exact number of households to be visited was then available.
Field staff was recruited from government employees. This time-consuming exercise was started as early as 1998. A circular letter inviting applications from officers who were interested to work as field staff at the census, was sent to all Government Ministries and Departments. About 6,500 applications were received.
The Public Service Commission on the recommendation of the Director of Statistics appointed the Chief Supervisor, Assistant Chief Supervisors and Senior Supervisors. As regards the other grades of field staff, the Commission gave authorization to the Director of Statistics for their recruitment. This was done on the advice of a selection board and according to pre-defined selection criteria. The composition of the selection board and the selection criteria were as approved by the Commission.
The criteria for selection were as follows:
A total of 6,225 field officers were recruited on a part-time basis for the census field operation. The number of officers recruited by grade was:
Fieldwork was performed outside office hours, and on Saturdays and Sundays. Besides, all staff took an oath of office to perform their duties according to the requirements of the Statistics Act.6.1.4 Terms of appointment
The Chief Supervisor was responsible for the whole field operation and was assisted by two Assistant Chief Supervisors. These officers were appointed for a period of nine months as from January 2000.
The main responsibilities of the Chief Supervisor/Assistant Chief Supervisor were as follows:
The work required a total of 350 hours spread over a period of nine months from January 2000 to September of the same year. The Assistant Chief Supervisor received a fee of Rs 7,000 and travelling allowance of Rs 3,700 per month for the nine-month period of appointment while the Chief Supervisor received a monthly travelling allowance of Rs 3,700 for the nine-month period.184.108.40.206 Senior Supervisor
Seventeen Senior Supervisors were appointed for a period of nine months as from January 2000. The Senior Supervisors worked under the direct supervision of the Chief Supervisors and each Senior Supervisor had the charge of about eight Supervisors and 60 Chief Enumerators for the Housing Census and an additional 300 Enumerators for the Population Census.
The main duties of the Senior Supervisor were as follows:
The work of a Senior Supervisor required a total of 375 hours spread over a period of nine months from January to September 2000. The appointment as Senior Supervisor carried a remuneration fee of Rs 6,500 per month and a monthly travelling allowance varying from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,700 depending on the spread of regions allocated to him220.127.116.11 Supervisor
One hundred and forty-three Supervisors were appointed for a period of eight months as from January 2000. On the average, a Supervisor had to supervise the work of seven Chief Enumerators and 36 Enumerators.
The main duties of the Supervisor were as follows:
These duties required some 400 hours of work, spread over a period of eight months from January to August 2000. The Supervisor was remunerated at the rate of Rs 5,000 per month; he was also given a monthly travelling allowance varying from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,700 depending on the spread of regions allocated to him.18.104.22.168 Chief Enumerator
The number of Chief Enumerators recruited for Census 2000 was 1,029. Chief Enumerators were recruited for the Housing Census enumeration from February to April 2000 and for leading a team of 5 Enumerators at the Population Census in June/July 2000.
The main duties of the Chief Enumerator were as follows:
Chief Enumerators had to furnish about 145 hours of work for the Housing Census and an additional 50 hours for the Population Census. The fee for the whole work was Rs 17,000 inclusive of travelling expenses and was paid in two instalments. The first payment was made around May 2000 on completion of duties regarding the Housing Census, and the second around August 2000 on completion of duties regarding the Population Census.22.214.171.124 Enumerator
The total number of Enumerators initially intended for the Population Census enumeration was 5,141. However, only 5,033 officers were recruited as Enumerators, as explained at paragraph 6.1.3. Twenty-four of them were called to carry out an additional workload while 84 Chief Enumerators had to work as Enumerator as well.
The main duties of the Enumerator were as follows:
The Enumerator had to furnish about 95 hours of work between mid-June and mid-July 2000. The fee offered to the Enumerator was Rs 5,000 and was inclusive of travelling expenses.6.1.5 Training of field staff
Training of field staff for the Housing Census started in January 2000 with the training of Senior Supervisors by the Chief Supervisor. The training consisted of two formal sessions of three hours held on two different days. During the sessions, stress was laid on the responsibilities of Senior Supervisors and on study of the instruction manuals (Instructions to Supervisory Staff and Instructions for Chief Enumerators). Senior Supervisors were given instructions on how to carry out their duties, specially with regards to supervision and quality control of fieldwork, and timely transmission and control of census documents between the field and the office. They were also given guidelines on how to train their field staff.
Training of Supervisors and Chief Enumerators was later carried out by the Senior Supervisors. During two three-hour sessions, Senior Supervisors elaborated on the duties of the field staff and on the procedures for the housing census enumeration as set out in the instructions manuals. Other information relevant to census taking such as the objectives of the census, the uses of census data, the coverage, the field organization, the methodology adopted, the legal and confidential aspects of the census was given. The information, though not directly relevant to fieldwork, was given to equip interviewers so that they could perform in an efficient way. Emphasis was laid on creating and maintaining a good rapport with respondents.
Formal training sessions were supplemented by informal meetings where senior supervisors and supervisors ensured that instructions had been understood and that doubts that could in one way or another affect the smooth running of the field work were cleared.
Furthermore, a review of the situation on the field was made during the weekly meetings of Chief Supervisors and Senior Supervisors. Problems encountered on the field and which were not addressed in instructions manuals or during training sessions were discussed and solved; instructions were then promptly submitted to the different grades of field staff at the various meetings that followed.126.96.36.199 Population Census
Training of field staff for the Population Census started in June 2000 with a session for Senior Supervisors and Supervisors, conducted by the Chief Supervisor. The training session, which lasted four hours, included a detailed study of the "Instructions for field staff" manual and of the "Census guide and instructions" booklet. The supervisory aspect of the fieldwork was also stressed upon.
Training of Chief Enumerators and of Enumerators were later conducted by the Senior Supervisors and Supervisors respectively. The training of each of the two grades consisted of two sessions of three hours. During the sessions, the instructions manual, and the Census guide and instructions booklet were studied; special attention was given to the use of listing sheets and to the filling in the census forms. As part of their training and as case example study, Chief Enumerators and Enumerators were asked to fill in a population census form in respect of their households; problems that arose during the exercise were discussed thereafter.
After the formal training sessions, regular meetings between the various grades of field staff were held. This was to ensure that instructions were clearly understood and were being appropriately followed, to take stock of the situation on the field and to solve problems that arose during fieldwork. The weekly meetings of Chief Supervisors and Senior Supervisors were maintained.6.2 Census enumeration
The enumeration work was organized by EA. Enumeration within each EA was done in a systematic way to ensure that all buildings, housing units and households within the limits of the area were canvassed. This necessitated a good planning of the enumeration work involving the sub-division of each EA into well-demarcated blocks and the canvassing of one block after the other until the whole EA was covered.
One or two weeks before the housing census, Chief Enumerators made field reconnaissance and ensured that they were well-acquainted with the boundaries and ground features of the enumeration areas allocated to them. With the assistance of the Supervisors, Chief Enumerators identified blocks with well-defined boundaries such as roads, lanes, rivers, mountain sides or cane fields within each EA. EAs were then sub-divided accordingly and blocks within each EA were assigned a two-digit code starting with 01. Chief Enumerators then proceeded with the enumeration of buildings within each block in an orderly and systematic manner starting with block number 01 until the whole EA was covered. Each enumerated building was assigned a unique identification number consisting of the two-digit block number and a three-digit building number. Thus the first building in block 01 was given the identification number 01/001, the second 01/002 etc. These identifiers, besides being recorded on the census forms were
written on the enumerated buildings on a conspicuous place so that they could be easily spotted by the supervisors during control and later by the enumerators during the population census enumeration.
Chief Enumerators also had to indicate on their EA census maps their starting point as well as their route of travel for each block. This was to facilitate the control work of the Supervisors and later to help enumerators to easily locate the households they had to visit at the Population Census.
Information was collected in booklets of 25 housing census forms. Since the movement of census forms was organized by EA, booklets used for a given EA were tagged together and were kept separate from booklets used for other EAs. Furthermore, to avoid bottlenecks at the processing stage, tagged booklets were verified and returned to the office as soon as the canvassing of an EA was completed.
For each EA covered, the Chief Enumerator had to prepare a list of heads of households, vacant housing units and housing units under construction together with the addresses. The number of persons in occupied households was also recorded on the list. The list was later used for the preparation of workloads of Enumerators.6.2.2 Population Census
A population census form, with the name and address of the head of household as well as other geographical information, was prepared for each private household enumerated at the Housing Census. Addressed population census forms were also prepared for hotels, institutions, collective quarters, vacant housing units and housing units that were under construction.
Each Enumerator was given a list of addresses to be visited and an addressed population census form for each of these addresses. He was also provided with some unaddressed forms for newly-formed households and for households that could have been missed at the Housing Census as well as a specially designed sheet to record the names and addresses of any newly formed or missed households.
Distribution of the census forms and guides to heads of households was done during the week preceding the Census night of 2 July 2000. The Enumerator was given specific instructions on how to proceed with the list of households provided to him. By inserting appropriate remarks for each entry on the list at the distribution and later at the collection stage, he was able to keep control of his work on the field. He was able to tell whether all the forms had been delivered and subsequently collected, whether a household had moved to a new address or whether a housing unit reported as vacant at the Housing Census, was now occupied.
Heads of households were requested to fill in the census forms according to instructions given in the "Census guide and instructions" booklet delivered to them along with the census form. However, if a household was unable to fill in the form, in part or in full, it was the duty of the enumerator to complete or fill in the form according to statements provided by the head.
After delivery of the census forms, meetings at various levels of field staff were held to assess the situation on the field and to solve unexpected problems.
Special arrangements were made with managers or responsible officers of hotels, institutions and collective quarters for the enumeration of guests or inmates. Since it was difficult to obtain information from persons staying in hospitals, infirmaries, asylums and prisons, information from administration records were used to answer as many questions as possible. Enumeration of foreign workers living in collective quarters was done with the assistance of responsible officers of factories where the foreigners were working.
Collection of completed census forms started on the 3rd July 2000 and lasted until the third week of same month. When collecting the forms, enumerators had to ensure that information collected were legible, consistent and complete. Enumerators were asked to compare the resulting person count for each household with that obtained at the Housing Census and provided to them. Any difference had to be explained.6.3 Quality assurance of field operation
The quality of information collected depends not only on the training of field workers, but also on the day-to-day control and supervision of the fieldwork.
Supervisors had to accompany each of their Enumerators in the first visits to ensure that interviews were done according to instructions given and that all concepts were clearly understood. Surprise and pre-arranged field checks as well as re-interviews also helped to increase the reliability of the information collected. Furthermore, Supervisors had to check all completed questionnaires at the early stage of enumeration and later a sample of the completed questionnaires to ensure that the quality of work was satisfactory. Meetings were held regularly to take stock of the field situation and to solve problems met on the field.
All supervisory staff had to record their field activities in provided diaries. The day-to-day record outlined the activities carried out, the dates on and the places at which the activities were carried out, problems encountered and remedial actions taken. The day-to-day recording of activities allowed supervisory staff to follow the progress of work and to assess the performance of each and every staff working under their supervision. Furthermore, it ensured that supervisory control prevailed all along the fieldwork.6.4 Movement of census forms
Movements of census forms were organized by EA. Booklets or forms used for given EAs were tagged together in batches and returned to the census storeroom at the Office after verification. Special control forms were used to record the EA number of the batch,
the date of reception, the name of the officer returning the batch as well as the relevant counts for the EA covered.
Similarly, movements of the EA batches from the storeroom to the editing and coding sub-unit, from the editing and coding sub-unit to the Central Information Systems Division (CISD) for data entry and finally from the CISD to the storeroom for final storage were recorded on specially designed control sheets.
The control sheets helped to assess the progress of work and ensured that batches of all EAs had been through the various processing stages.