6. Selection and training of field and office staff
The recruitment of staff for the agricultural census or survey generally involves an initial selection of the candidates followed by their training and a final examination.
The most qualified persons, of either sex, should be encouraged to participate as enumerators, supervisors and office staff for the agricultural census or survey programme.
In countries where cultural and religious factors prevent women from talking freely to men, women should not be recruited as field staff. However, women office staff may be recommended.
On the other hand, in some countries women enumerators may be more accepted by the respondent and by the families, and should then constitute the majority of the field staff, other qualifications being equal. A team approach including both male and female enumerators may also be considered.
Special emphasis should be given to the adequate training of the enumerators, to make them aware of the problems related to the collection of sex disaggregated data.
If necessary, additional training should be given to women, due to the fact that they are generally less educated than men. But different standards of qualifications for the job should not be accepted.
Training modules dealing with the existence of prejudices and stereotypes, language problems and cultural and customary gender discriminations should be developed.
The effect of the sex of the interviewer and of the interviewee, related to the specific cultural and religious context, should be clearly explained to the enumerators.
The following aspects related to the collection of data disaggregated by sex should be considered for training of field personnel:
(a) The use of simple language and, whenever possible, use of words that are non-sex-specific(e.g. in English words like "man-week", "fisherman", and phrases referring to the holder or the head of household as "he" should be avoided);
(b) Indicate those concepts and definitions that create special problems in terms of capturing sex-specific information (such as "economic activity", "unemployed", "head of household", etc.);
(c) Explanation of main difficulties that arise concerning the measurement of women's work;