A delegation from The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) visited Statistics Botswana (SB) on a benchmarking tour from 8 -10 April 2019.
The delegation headed by the Acting Director, Mr Godfrey Makware comprised of Deputy Director, Ms Batsirai Chanja, Manager Agriculture Statistics, Mr Brian Kaseke, Manager Data Bases Mr Perfect Makumbe, Manager Service and Informal sector, Ms Matiwonesa Phiri and Statistician Ms Grace Chaoura.
The overall objectives of the ZIMSTAT delegation tour was to learn on how SB conducted the 2007 Informal Sector Survey (ISS).
Other specific objectives were to:
• Find out how SB defines an establishment as formal or informal
• Learn on the “best” approach used by SB in conducting the 2007 ISS
• Be familiar with the standards/guidelines followed by the SB in conducting the ISS
• Establish field work strategy used
• Computer programme used for data processing
• Dissemination and communication strategies that were used
• Establish the challenges faced in conducting the survey
Giving a background of the 2007 Informal Sector Survey, Manager National Accounts and Prices, Ms Ketso Makhumalo said it was the second ISS to be conducted by SB, adding that the first was conducted in 1999.
“The 2007 survey was funded by Botswana government at a tune of P8 million, its main purpose was to inform policy planners to come up with informal sector policy”, she said.
Ms Makhumalo further said SB came up with structures as well as technical working groups while major stakeholders came up with what should be covered by the survey.
Informing the Zimbabwean delegation on how the survey was conducted Ms Makhumalo reiterated that the survey took four months adding that they first piloted questionnaires and fieldwork commenced in July 2007.
“We had twelve teams in the field which comprised of two enumerators, supervisor and a driver”, said Ms Makhumalo.
Speaking on the survey methodology that was used in 2007, Senior Statistician Ms Kebotsemang Ditsela pointed out that the main aim of the ISS was to interview a sample of individuals who operated informal economic activities (IEAs) at their homes.
“The method used was to start with a sample of households; as to locate those individuals would be hard-to-find”, she said
On the sampling frame that was used in 2007, Ms Ditsela said two frames were required for one of each stage. The sampling frame for the first stage was based on the 2001 Population and Housing Census. This comprised the list of all Enumeration Area (EA) together with number of households.
“While the sampling frame for the second stage was produced only in the selected EAs”, she said.
Giving an overview on what they learnt from their excursion, Manager for Data Bases Mr Perfect Makumbe said the presentations from SB were clear on how the survey was conducted from the planning stage to dissemination.
Mr Makumbe further said that they also learnt that the informal sector is country specific guided by the International Labour Organisation standards and guidelines.
“Involvement of key stakeholders in technical working groups is critical from survey planning to dissemination as it instils a sense of ownership”, he said.
He also said that they also learnt that the household approach used by SB was to overcome the problem of mobility and volatility of informal business. The approach is also used to overcome the non-existence of an informal sector master frame.
Mr Makumbe further said they also learnt that Botswana customized international guidelines to suit national needs and that Labour laws were observed when planning for surveys and censuses especially during data collection periods.
“SB has effective dissemination and communication structures that use various platforms to reach out to users of statistics and the public”, said Mr Makumbe.
“The challenges faced would help us to come up with strategies to counter some of the challenges we are likely to encounter”, he said.
He also said he is optimistic that lessons learnt will help them in planning and implementing the Zimbabwe 2019 Informal Sector Survey. While in Botswana the Zimbabwe delegation also found time from their busy schedule and visited Mokolodi Game Reserve. They left Botswana on 11 April 2019.