The National Statistical Bureau of Bhutan will be conducting Bhutan Living standard Survey (BLSS) from 1st of March to the 31st of April this year. The last BLSS was carried out in 2012.
BLSS is carried out with the intended purpose of gathering information in respect to health, employment, housing, education, income and expenditure, access to public facilities and services, consumption expenditure, household demographic characteristics, household assets, and living conditions in the country.
The household survey will be undertaken by NSB in collaboration with World Bank which will provide full technical and financial support. The BLSS-2012 was carried out with the support from Asian Development Bank and World Bank.
The reports from the survey will act as a reliable source of data for policy research and also in updating consumer price index, providing updated poverty rates, assessing the implementation of large government projects in the rural areas.
Like the previous rounds, the BLSS 2017 will follow the World Bank’s Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) Methodology. And unlike the previous norms, instead of going for evaluations through paper, the whole of this survey will be done through Samsung tablets.
“Such methods will not only save lots of time through easier rectification and procession of data but will also help in timely data validation. The usage of tablets will also allow less room for errors in the data reflected,” said Rinchen Tshering, Project Coordinator for the BLSS.
There is supposed to be two applications in the tablets, which were developed by the World Bank. One is the ‘tester’ to check the proper functioning of the tablets and the other is the ‘Interviewer’s application’, which will include the ‘Survey Solution’ to carry out the surveys more conveniently. The collected data can be synced with the relevant agencies which will deter any one to manipulate the reflected data. And incase if there are errors found in the submitted data, only the interviewer will be allowed to rectify it. The applications are also connected to the World Bank servers.
“Almost 95% of the questionnaire is similar to what we have used during BLSS-2012, but we have updated and added few more in the questionnaire after holding consultative meeting with our relevant stakeholders from different Ministries,” said Rinchen Tshering.
The BLSS-2007 and BLSS-2012 proved as the major source of indicators for evaluating the government’s 2008-2013 Five Year Plan and the BLSS-2017 is also aimed in providing important statistics for the succeeding government plans.
The Ministry of Labor and Human Resources has already started announcing vacancies for the temporary enumerators for the survey and they will be guided by the officials from NSB who will supervising them.