Ministry of Planning and Development, through the Central Statistical Office (CSO), in partnership with the UN in Trinidad and Tobago will collect data through a new online survey on the impact of the pandemic on people’s employment, sources of livelihoods, disposable income, cost of living and coping strategies. Details follow in this press release from the United Nation, Trinidad and Tobago: 

Critical data that captures the impact of the pandemic on people’s employment, sources of livelihoods, disposable income, cost of living and coping strategies will be gathered through a new online survey conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Development, through the Central Statistical Office (CSO), in partnership with the UN in Trinidad and Tobago.  

The survey will generate critical data that will form the basis of a rapid assessment of the socio-economic effects of the pandemic on the population.  

This joint effort, titled “A Socio-Economic Assessment of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Population of Trinidad and Tobago Initiative,” will rely on innovative technology and feedback from the public. The online survey will be sent to subscribers of telecommunications networks via an SMS notification. Up to 3,000 respondents will get the chance to receive TT $10 in Digicel credit for their participation.  

The survey will also be available online at: http://lnq.in/unpress from December 5, 2021, for two weeks.  

United Nations Resident Coordinator to T&T, Ms. Marina Walter, noted, “Lockdowns and other restrictions during the pandemic required changes in socio-economic patterns, and the goal of this initiative is to hear from the public on how they have been affected, and to offer information that can be used by key ministries, national agencies, international development partners and the UN agencies, funds and programmes operating in Trinidad and Tobago. Analysis of the data will give strategic, evidence-based responses to people’s needs during the pandemic, to prioritise use of available resources and to target service delivery.”  

Ms. Walter said the survey represents an excellent example of cooperation between the CSO and the UN Country Team in using innovative technologies to provide information that can assist efforts to strengthen data-driven responses to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.  

Mrs. Joanne Deoraj, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development, also underscored the support of the Planning Ministry for this much-needed initiative. According to PS Deoraj, “Data-based evidence in real time will provide government with information on how citizens have reacted to, and have been affected by, the pandemic over the last 2 years or so. This is essential for a continued response that balances the need for saving lives and managing livelihoods.”  

2 PS Deoraj said the CSO has the capacity to conduct such a survey and doing it digitally will help reach a broad segment of the population, while limiting contact with field officers.  

Meanwhile, Mr. Andre Blanchard, Acting Director of Statistics at the CSO also identified the need for critical socio-economic data sets on the effects of the pandemic and attendant lockdowns on the general population to allow for more evidence-based strategic and targeted interventions; prioritisation of resources; and efficient service delivery. Mr. Blanchard added, “This survey is in keeping with the Central Statistical Office’s mandate of collecting, compiling, analyzing and publishing statistical information relating to all social and economic activities.” He also emphasised that the data provided will contribute to decisions that will help to save lives.  

The assessment report is proposed for early January 2022.  

There are plans to conduct two additional rounds of the survey until the end of 2022, to allow the CSO and the UN in Trinidad and Tobago to identify and track trends as the country continues navigating the pandemic.