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Data Collection

On deployment to the field, dRi’s data collection team is typically billeted inside the target community. In addition to maximising logistical efficiency, local billeting fosters a more in-depth understanding of the survey population, and builds rapport and trust with the community allowing for higher quality responses. Prior to proceeding with data collection, community leaders and other key local stakeholders are consulted to ensure survey ‘buy-in’. Then a meet and greet session is held with community members and enumerators are familiarised with the area. During the survey field-work, supervisors conduct frequent spot checks on enumerators during interviews with respondents. These checks ensure that any systematic mistakes made by a specific enumerator are corrected quickly in the field. Supervisors also conduct back-checks on thirty percent of completed questionnaires, checking responses to selected portions. Research supervisors randomly select interviews completed in a given day for this verification, prior to sending collected data to the server. This process acts as a deterrent to, and detector of possible fraudulent or lazy entries by the enumerators that would otherwise compromise data quality. One of the key advantages of using tablets in conducting data collection is that real-time meta data review provides an additional layer of data integrity validation. Such checks include observing the GPS data to match enumerators to the location specified on the questionnaire. Automatically generated variables such as duration, interview start/stop timestamps also ensure that each interview is conducted within a reasonable timeframe. Moreover, dRi’s senior research team makes field visits and daily conference calls during data collection. During the field visits the team meets with the field supervisors to work through any issues, check the uniformity of measurements and perform ad hoc evaluations of data quality. The senior research team also maintains the survey manual, making revisions as required.