The Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), conducted pilot testing of the assessment tools that will be used for the upcoming 2nd Nationwide Assessment.

“This activity aims to check the correctness, clarity and flow of questions in the Family Assessment Form (FAF) and the Barangay/Community Characteristics (BCC) Form and identify the potential problems that may be encountered during the actual assessment,” stated Director Vincent Andrew Leyson, the National Project Manager of the Listahanan.

The FAF, a four-page questionnaire used in data collection, was recently upgraded from 34 variables in the 2009 assessment to 46 variables in the 2nd assessment. These variables include observable and verifiable family characteristics like family assets, education and occupation of family members, housing conditions and access to basic services. These were lifted from the 2009 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Labor Force Survey (LFS). The enhanced FAF also enables the department to identify families within a household and members with disability.

On the other hand, the BCC form is another data collection tool that will be used in the 2nd assessment. It collects community information such as street patterns, presence of commercial establishments and recreational facilities, among other factors affecting economic activities of the families in the barangay.

“Accomplishing the new forms is very crucial. In the training of the field staff, we will ensure that they are really equipped before they will be deployed in their respective municipalities, hopefully by 2nd quarter of 2014. We want to ensure that the real poor families will be identified,” stated Czar Cornelius David, the Regional Field Coordinator for Listahanan in Central Luzon.

The pilot tests were held in Porac, Pampanga and Montalban, Rizal on February 19 and 27 respectively. These areas were selected based on its geographic location and rural community features. “The activity was well coordinated. There are Barangay Health Workers, Parent leaders and other barangay officials who assisted us during the assessment. The households were informed that this is not yet the actual assessment. We told them that our purpose  is to see how the forms will be administered during the assessment,” David added.

Listahanan will assess around 15.3 million households nationwide – covering all rural areas and pockets of poverty in urban areas. It projects start of the actual assessment by 2nd quarter of 2014.

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as basis in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services. ### (Written by Alexis Myer Delicano and Krupska Lenina Apit)