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CARIBBEAN - St. Kitts and Nevis

Opinion Survey

Trial Opinion Survey

A survey form with 11 open-ended questions, designed to find out the views of the general public on environment and development issues, was prepared in collaboration with Small Islands Voice' colleagues in UNESCO, Seychelles, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Using this form a trial survey was conducted in St. Kitts and Nevis during the period 4th - 9th February 2002, in order to test out the questions and the survey procedures.

About ten volunteers in each island were briefed on the goals of the survey and asked to conduct the survey by interviewing five persons of varied social background and age, and taking into account the need for a gender balance. The survey was conducted on 6th - 7th February 2002, after which there was a de-briefing session for the interviewers.

Interview in progress in St. Kitts, February 2002

Results

In general, the survey was well received and people were willing to talk, although a few showed reluctance to answer the questions because of concern that the survey was politically motivated. The average time for each interview was about ten minutes.

In Nevis, 44 questionnaires were completed and analyzed. There was some bias towards persons with professional backgrounds, this was because most of the surveys had been conducted in Charlestown, not the country areas. The main positive changes noted were improvements in the island's infrastructure (waterfront, roads, airport), tourism growth and an improved economy. Negative changes included a decline in moral values, an increase in crime and drugs, and environmental damage (littering, deforestation, beach erosion). There was almost unanimous agreement that the public does not play enough of a role in planning future development in Nevis.

In St. Kitts, 49 questionnaires were completed and analyzed. The coverage was representative of a broad range of civil society. The main positive change observed by respondents was the improved infrastructure, in particular roads and housing. Several persons mentioned the new residential and low-income housing and the refurbishment of older buildings. The main negative changes identified were social in nature and especially the increase in crime, drugs and social diseases (HIV/AIDS) among young people. Some respondents also mentioned higher taxes and lower purchasing power. As in Nevis there was almost unanimous agreement that the public does not play enough of a role in planning future development.

Opinion Survey

The results of the trial were discussed by the St. Kitts and Nevis Coordinating Committee during their meetings on 24th July and 26th August. It was decided to revise the survey form by omitting the questions focusing directly on tourism because this effectively downplayed other employment sectors. A revised survey form has been prepared.

A comprehensive opinion survey, using this revised format, was conducted in St. Kitts and Nevis in October-November 2002. One per cent of the population was interviewed.

St. Kitts

The most significant issue identified by survey respondents in St. Kitts was the increase in crime and violence, aptly described in the newspaper article 'How much more?'. (see the Highlights and the full report from this survey).

Nevis

The most significant issues identified by survey respondents in Nevis were the increase in crime and violence and the need for educational development. (see the Highlights and the full report from this survey)

 

To get involved, contact :

 
 

National Co-ordinator
Mr. Antonio Maynard
St Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO
PO Box 333, Cayon Street
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
T: + 1 869 466 8581
F: +1 869 465 9069
unesconatcom@caribsurf.com

 

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