dRi employs 30 full-time male and female research supervisors on its field research team. Supervisors require a master’s degree in any discipline of social science and at least three years’ experience in research. Additionally, dRi maintains a roster of over 200 enumerators for use on an ad hoc basis. The minimum qualification for these personnel is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline of social sciences with at least one-year experience in research.
The quantitative and qualitative supervisors and enumerators are selected by the Quantitative Expert and Qualitative Expert respectively. Selection criteria include prior experience in similar research, familiarity with the geographic area, and educational qualifications relevant to the research. Additionally, female enumerators are selected for gender-sensitive research projects where applicable.
All supervisors and field researchers undergo a three to five-day intensive training session as required by the project. The training is administered at dRi’s dedicated facility in Dhaka. Senior research team members conduct the training with support from the team leader, specialists and client personnel. The researchers are informed on project details and objectives, as well as justification for the research. The research coordinator then provides in-depth training using the questionnaire developed for the study. Each and every question is explained and discussed in detail. At the end of the training, a face-to-face mock interview is conducted where one researcher acts as a respondent and another as a researcher, using tablets and applicable data collection software.
All researchers are then sent for a pilot study in the project area (or similar environment) to ensure they understand the questions and assess whether they can smoothly operate the data collection software. On return from the pilot study, their questions and queries are addressed, and the questionnaire and data collection software are fine-tuned based on their feedback. This results in the finalized questionnaire and the survey manual. The survey manual is a comprehensive reference document for the questionnaire used by the enumerators, containing an explanation of all terms and questions.
On deployment to the field, the 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’. A meet and greet session is then held with community members and enumerators are familiarised with the area.