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
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
in progress in St. Kitts, February 2002
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)