|Documentation for the Workshop /
Country Papers : Fiji
Questionnaire on survey and census sources of national
1. Overview of the survey or census
There is no independent disability survey ever conducted by the Fiji Islands Bureau of
For the first time in 1996 the FIBS was approached by the Fiji Handicapped Association
to include disability questions in the national population census of 1996; the disability
data was a 'benchmark data' was then independently analyzed by Professor A C Walsh of the
Center for Development Studies, School of Social and Economic Development, University of
the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. through the Canadian Government funding and assistance. The
in depth finding on disability was published in a book titled 'Disability Counts in
Fiji', an analysis of the 1996 Census.
b. Date of latest data collection:
The FIBS is currently embarking on the national Household Income and Expenditure
Survey (HIES) 2002 - 2004 on which some disability data will also be derived
from. The 'urban' sector was completed this year 2003 and provisional results was
released. Now the 'rural' sector are surveyed and expected to be completed by early
next year. With the setting up of a permanent household unit in the FIBS now, we hope, we
would be in a better stature to gather data like 'disability' on a more regular basis and
with better emphasis. (the two schedules 1996 and 2002 I will bring along)
Ad Hoc collection as in the past and we hope to improve and regularise our collection
with the permanent set up of the Household Survey Unit of FIBS.
d. Contact Person:
1996 Population Census - The Census Commissioner - Mr T Bainimarama
Telephone: (679) 331 5822
Facsimille: (679) 330 3656
HIES 2002 - 2004 - The Chief Statistician - Mr E Waqavonovono with the same contact as
2. Brief Summary:
The FIBS did not carry out an in depth studies on disability data gathered in
1996 and 2002, may be because the focus was more on important economic data and that
disability data could be recond as low 'priority' data and less important. What was
collected was assumed that all disabled people covered were 'inactive' economically due to
their disability as in the figures provided:
|1996 Population Census
||Conventional Households Only - Urban
|15+ years Not in Labour force - Disabled
||15+ years Not in Labour force - Disabled
The data was attempted only in questions on economic characteristics of
both the household based interviews in 1996 and 2002 linked to the demographic schedule,
therefore what was gathered was only limited to the economic activity questions. If one's
emphasis is focussed on disability then one should be able to appreciate the details
gathered by FIBS; to uplift and further analyzed the series on request at FIBS on
available disability data. One should appreciate that both findings were used as
'benchmark data' on disability for further in depth studies.
In Professor Walsh's report the results were more detailed. He appreciated the release
of the benchmark data; making a 'leadway' to his analysis findings. (I will bring a
copy of the report)
a. 1996 Population Census Questions on Disability
- Demographic Data:
- Relationship to the head of the household
- Date of Birth
- Marital Status
- Real Father- Alive or Dead
- Real Mother - Alive or Dead
- Place of Birth
- Education Attainment
- Does any of the person in this household have any disability or health problem that is
- Does this person as a result of this condition has difficulty with or cannot do.
- Every day activities that people his / her age can do.
- Communicating, mixing with others or socializing.
- Any other activity that people his/her age usually do OR
- NO difficulty with any of this.
- What is the nature of the disability?
A cut piece of the in the 1996 population census is attached.
b. For Information on disability to the general public, government agencies, NGOs,
academics, professionals and community interest groups like Disability Associations, Town
and Cities Municipalities, etc.
- To create awareness, raising roles to sensitize both government and private sectors on
appropriate provisions and services, policy and programs to improve the quality of life of
persons with disability in the country.
- To increasingly recognised need to empower and assist the disabled people as much as
c. Yes, users were involved as well as staff of the FIBS in deciding what
information to collect.
d. Definitions were very limited.
The interviewers were provided with limited definitions, they need to see the disabled
persons and be able to describe and explain the disability.
e. No, the focus is not on disability collection.
3. Very few tables were derived in the 1996 and 2002 household interviews.
The only table released on disability on both the investigations concentrated only on
In Professor Walsh analysis the data were in depth like disability types and extent;
Disability demographics; Disability and Education; Housing and Disabled and other data
with their attached various relevant tables.
4. a. National Census of population in 1996
Sample was covered in HIES 2002 - 2004: urban areas were completed in 2002 on
5. It is difficult to compare the results.
6. With the 1996 census we attempted to conduct post enumeration on
high priority economic questions and not on disability related questions.
7. The hard copy I will personally provide.
- Face-to-Face interview on both 1996 and 2002 HIES.
- The head of the household or any other responsible person of the household.
- Refer to the 'cut piece' electronic copy attached and the full hard copy I will provide
- English is the language on the questionnaires as English is the formal language in Fiji.
8. Pilot testing of the questions and the questionnaires were done
- Thorough training of field officers - interviewers, field superintendents were
- Special exams designed to be passed by field superintendents and interviewers;
- Special fieldwork manuals were drawn.
- Detailed coding instructions were provided.
- Codes were provided.
- Map reading is taught.
- On the ground identification of enumeration areas was provided.
- Public awareness campaign were covered
- Special Protocol to be followed was taught.
- Office procedures in line with the public service order are provided to the field
- And many more
- Bench mark data derived
- Collections on disability data collection weaknesses are identified and improved upon.
- Field officers and interviewers field experiences are identified and outlined.
- "Approach" & "language" problems emphasized
- Emphasis and focus on disability data is derived
- The need of an independent collection is decided
- Details of the data series is decided
- Problems of Definitions are identified and recorded
- Testing Kits
- Definitions used
10. "Disability counts in Fiji", an analysis of the 1996 Census written by
Professor A C Walsh
Report submitted by: Verenaisi Sawana, Senior Statistician Fiji Islands Bureau of
Questionnaire on administrative sources of national disability data
Country: Fiji Islands.
- Overview of administrative sources
- list the titles of the different registers and the organization responsible for them:
Fiji Disabled People's Association - Membership Database.
- What purpose do they have?
To establish the population of persons with disabilities in the country.
- How often are they updated?
- Brief summary of register(s)
- Describe what information on disability is collected.
- Date of birth.
- Type of disability.
- Contact details.
- What uses are made of the data and who are the users?
- The database is used by the Association as baseline data for its advocacy and awareness
raising roles to sensitize both Governments and private sectors on provision of
appropriate services, policies and programmes to improve the quality of life of persons
with disabilities in the country.
- The database has been used by other disability organizations, some Government
departments and donor agencies in Fiji.
- Were users involved in deciding what information to collect?
Yes, the Association is in fact established and managed by persons with disabilities
- What definition of disability is used?
FDPA uses this definition for disability- Disability applies to anybody who by virtue
of their physical, mental, sensory and emotional disposition is prevented from enjoying
equal opportunities and exercising the same rights as the rest of society.
- Are the definitions used in the register(s) compatible with survey or census
definitions? With international standards?
Not with the Fiji 1996 census definition of disability but moreso with international
- What population is covered in the register(s)?
Children and adults with disabilities.
- How complete is the coverage? (who is included? Who is missed out?)
The FDPA membership database does not truly reflect the actual population of persons with
disabilities in Fiji as the coverage included mainly the 17 special schools and disability
organizations which are all urban-based. Whilst some data were received from
hospitals and health centers around Fiji, there is a strong possibility that children and
adults with disabilities in the remote rural areas and outlying islands may have been
- How is/are the register(s) evaluated for completeness?
FDPA acknowledges that its membership database is not complete and therefore strongly
pursuing through the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons the need to conduct a
national disability survey in the country.
- Manner of updating the register(s)?
From paper forms and compiled in the membership database within the office computer.
- Highlight some of the strengths and limitations of your administrative register(s).
- The FDPA membership database provides some useful and reliable baseline information
which otherwise is not available in Fiji yet.
- The definition of disability used is more compatible with international standards.
- Persons with disabilities are involved in establishing, updating, maintaining and
utilizing the database.
- The FDPA membership database is not complete, comprehensive or regularly updated.
- Lack of regular and suitable financial resources to ensure proper and ongoing
collection, maintenance, updating and storage of relevant data.
- Absence of professional input and advice of the Bureau of Statistics.
Information provided by Mr Setareki Macanawai, President of Fiji Disabled People's
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