More of us are buying groceries online, we are feeling lonelier than we did two years ago and 84% of internet users are now online daily as a result of COVID-19.
How do we know this? We know……..because you told us!
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is appealing for people to play a vital role in telling the story of Ireland and help our field staff collect the information that will chart the effect COVID-19 is having on our society.
Before the introduction of guidelines restricting people’s movements, more than 100 CSO interviewers would visit 30,000 households every three months.
The information gathered helps inform decision-making across a range of areas including health, welfare, the environment and the economy.
However, this work has changed completely since COVID-19. Field work is now carried out by letter and telephone instead of face-to-face. While it is understandable that response rates have fallen at this difficult time, low response rates affect the quality of the information collected. That is why the CSO is calling on people to play their part in telling Ireland’s story.
In the words of one of our field staff, Deirdre Hannigan, who is based in Dublin, the way she works has changed significantly.
She said “No more house calls and face-to-face interviews. No more trudging around the city with a heavy bag. The work becomes a vast sea of letters, envelopes, stamps and information literature. Driving is replaced with desk work, letter writing, licking envelopes and postage; initiation of contact is by written invitation and phone call; rings on doorbells replaced with patiently waiting for the phone to be answered or wishing for a call back.”
According to Fiona O’Riordan, Head of Division – Social Collection at the CSO, responding to these surveys is more vital now than ever.
“We have measured Ireland’s economy through good times and through bad. Taking part in our surveys is important because the statistics we collect are used to make policy decisions and to plan for the future. The information you give us means we can create a very accurate picture of Ireland, our lives, our economy, our health and our happiness.”
Our surveys are 100% confidential and your personal details are never shared with any government departments or organisations.
The information collected during this difficult time in particular will help us chart the changes taking place in our lives now so generations to come can understand the seismic shift our society is undergoing. The CSO understands the severe difficulties now being faced by everyone.
We wish to thank all survey respondents for their support to date. However, it is only by collecting survey information that we will be able to report on the effects COVID-19 is having on our economy and society.
As part of our awareness campaign, ‘Because You Told Us,’ we want to highlight the importance of getting people involved in our surveys. If you are asked, please participate in a confidential CSO survey as they have vital national importance.
A random sample of people, living in both urban and rural areas, are selected from the Census maps. Any letter you receive from us in the post is printed on CSO headed paper, and there will be a unique reference code on the letter which you can verify with the interviewer. The interviewer’s name and contact number will be on the letters. An appointment can be scheduled with the interviewer at a time that suits you.
We know some people might be afraid of divulging personal information or may fear a letter from us is a scam. To reassure the public, we always advise anyone who receives a survey request from us to ring us on our LoCall number 1890 252 293. We can then confirm the authenticity of our letter to you and explain that we will never, under any circumstances, share your personal information with anyone.
Your voice matters. The information you give us in our telephone surveys will help planning and inform policy formulation. This is as important now as it ever was. If requested, please participate.”
Learn more: http://bit.ly/CSOsurveysTags: