Time Use Survey Classification Of Activities ForTime Use Statistics
The New Zealand Classification of Activities for Time-Use Statistics (ACTUS) can be found on the Statistics NZ website Activity Classification for the Time Use Survey - Statistics New Zealand
Creating the current Activity Classification:Step 1 - Consultation The process started by consulting end-users of time use data, including governmental, non-governmental organisations, and people within Statistics New Zealand. This consultation was focussed on establishing and prioritising the information needs that the Activity Classification supports.
Step 2 – Evaluating Other Activity Classifications The evaluation focussed on 3 points.It looked at whether the classification could provide:- • the data end-users wanted (key areas were childcare, internet use and unpaid work) • comparability with the New Zealand 1998-99 activity classification,and • international comparability
Creating the current Activity Classification:Step 2 – Evaluating Other Activity Classifications continued… The old New Zealand Activity Classification (1998-99) and international activity classifications were evaluated against the needs of key users. The international activity classifications evaluated were:- • the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2006 activity classification • the 2007 American activity classification (ATUS) • the 2000 Harmonised European activity classification (HETUS), and • the trial International Classification of Activities (ICATUS) .
Step 2 – Evaluating Other Activity Classifications continued… The evaluation showed that the New Zealand 1998-99 classification was the best to use as a base for the new activity classification as it made time-series comparability easy and the structure still met user needs If we had used any of the international classifications then we would have had to adapt the classification not only for the requirements of the end-users, but also to be comparable with the 1998-99 classification.
Creating the current Activity Classification: The new Activity Classification was structured around four “Level 1” Categories:- • Necessary time • Contracted time • Committed time • Free time • These were chosen because of widespread international use of these concepts for time use surveys.
The main objectives of ACTUS • Be simple, easy to understand, easy to operate and easy to use. • Provide information about the types of unpaid work activities, so that these can be valued in a similar way to paid work, for compilation into the Non-profit Institutions Satellite Accounts. • Provide statistics of sufficient relevance for the purpose for which the information is required. • Allow researchers to examine how respondents balance work and other activities with family and leisure time, not specific occupational tasks. • Be related to the current established activity classifications developed by different countries for enhancing international comparability. • Meet classifications best practice principles. .
Creating The ACTUS There are 2 major areas in ACTUS that are significantly different from the 1998-99 classification:- • The first major difference is childcareIn the ACTUS childcare has its own major category, because of the information needs of end users, and also the fact that childcare makes up a greater part of all caring activities than caring for adults.(All caring for adults has been grouped together as well). .
Creating The ACTUS continued… 2. The second major difference is the removal of contextual descriptions in the activity classification labels, because the inclusion of contextual information:-- duplicated the information collected in the “who for” classification, and- lead to duplication of activities. The same activity could end up in in 2 different categories, based solely on where the activity took place, or who the activity was for. For example, in the 1998-99 activity classification, physical care of a child could end up in 511 physical care of household members713 service provision (formal), or721 caring for non household members (informal) .
Creating The ACTUS- removal of contextual descriptions continued… The ACTUS is solely focussed on measuring time taken on an activity, regardless of who it was for. The “who for” classification is then used to break down the activity by who it was for. So, in ACTUS, the context (or who for) has been removed from the activity classification, except for…childcare where the information need outweighs the problems caused by the inclusion of the context within the classification .
When We Were Developing The New Zealand Activity Classification…. We did a lot of testing to ensure the classification and the paper diary worked well together:-- we did a lot of cognitive testing of the diary, and- we conducted a field test of 300 households The field test was a test of the whole survey end-to-end, but there was a focus on obtaining a good number of completed diaries from members of the public so we could ensure the diary was giving the right level of activity data
One lesson we learntfrom developing the Activity Classification When the Activity Classification was reviewed for approval we did not review it along with the coding index (or code file). This meant that we did not see all the potential issues in the classification. There were a few categories that may not appear to be mutually exclusive from others – and it is not easy to ensure all categories are mutually exclusive. For example:- window shopping and the various purchasing categories(we could have merged all these categories into one)teaching adults and coaching(again, we could have merged these two categories into one) The lesson learnt was that the synonym list is a very important part of the activity classification and this needs to be remembered when reviewing it.
Another Aspect Of OurCurrent Classification That Is Not Ideal • Previously we included the “who for”, for example… • Whereas for the 1998/1999 survey we included the “who for”.For example… For committed time we separated the “who for” out of the classification categories. For example…
And this has resulted in a significant amount of datain a residual or “other” category
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