National survey will measure access to culture

The government is sending workers with questionnaires door-to-door to measure public participation in cultural activities.

The survey will last until sometime in January with the goal of visiting 3,000 households and interviewing 7,200 persons, said the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.  The Programa Estado de la Nación is involved as is the Consejo Nacional de Rectores with the help of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos.

The government of Spain is providing financing, and the government of Colombia is providing technical help.

High on the list of what the ministry seeks to find out is the access that citizens have to culture, it said.

The project is being called the Encuesta Nacional de Cultura or the national cultural survey.

The questionnaire covers a lot of ground, from participation in music to cultural practices such as participating in folk dancing. Also sought is an assessment of participation in Costa Rican traditions and cultural media exposure.

This last includes movies, television, radio, video games, books, magazines and newspapers and how often citizens attend cultural events or visit public spaces like parks.

An announcement said that this initial survey will seek to establish a base line of cultural accessibility and that the survey will be repeated every two years.

There have been questionnaires that sought answers to cultural questions in the past. The last was in 2010, but the annual survey of households obtains some of this information.

The ministry said that those conducting survey interviews will be fully identifiable with a distinctive jacket and name tags. The national census employes a number of teachers and since school will be in recess soon, many of the survey workers probably will come from this group.

The ministry did not say how much the effort costs.

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