By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Many people were surprised by researchers from the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) visiting them at home to take information for the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019-2021. Kuwait Times interviewed Khuloud Shuweiker, Supervisor of Work and Living Statistics at CSB, to learn more about this survey.

Kuwait Times: What is the main goal of this survey?
Khuloud Shuweiker: To provide a platform of economic, social and demographic data to be used by planners, policymakers and those in charge of economic and social affairs to prepare development programs and plans. Furthermore, to know which products and services are consumed by people, and based on that, demand is measured.

The survey also aims to measure the proportional distribution of spending on services and products, and using this data to figure the record of living expenses. In addition, it also aims to calculate the average income of families and individuals and average spending by families and individuals, which are used in national accounts.

Kuwait Times: What questions do the researchers ask?
Shuweiker: They ask about the family’s data and demographic, economic and social characteristics of its members. They will also ask about spending by family members on products and services. In addition, they will ask about the income components of the head of the household and all family members older than 15 years of age.

These data are collected through special forms. These include form no. 1 (characteristics of the family and its members), form no. 2 (individual form for family members over 15 years about income and spending), form no. 3 (annual data on family spending) and form no. 4 (two forms to be filled by the family on spending on services and goods).

Kuwait Times: What credentials should the researchers have?
Shuweiker: They should be holding official IDs from the Central Statistics Bureau. They should be also wearing special vests with the CSB logo. They should have a permit, a letter addressing the head of the household, a letter from the interior ministry and the forms to be filled.

Kuwait Times: Is the survey still going on during the holy month of Ramadan?
Shuweiker: Yes, it’s still continuing.

Kuwait Times: When did it start and when will it conclude?
Shuweiker: The survey started on October 20, 2019 and should’ve continued for a year, but it stopped on March 11, 2020 due to the pandemic. We started again on March 11, 2021 and will continue till the first week of November 2021. The survey is done on a sample of families (around 4,032) divided over 12 months to collect the data.

Kuwait Times: How have people reacted to the survey?
Shuweiker: Around 90 percent of the families that we have visited till now were responsive and cooperative. Apart from personal visits to the families’ homes, we also collect data from families through the phone, WhatsApp and the electronic platform.

Kuwait Times: Have you faced any problems?
Shuweiker: Yes, some researchers faced problems with a few families, but they were all resolved. The researchers explained the importance of the survey and clarified any misperceptions, so the families cooperated.