Back Checks

Revision as of 14:37, 30 January 2017 by Mrijanrimal (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

A back checks of a survey is when a

Read First


Back checks are done to monitor the quality of the field work. This gives us valuable information on whether the questionnaire accurately captures the key outcomes of the study or not, and on whether the enumerators are performing their jobs as expected.

Best Practices during back checks

Here are some of the best practices that should be done while performing back checks:

  • Around 10% of the total survey should be back checked for with 20% of the back checks done in the first 2 weeks of field work.
  • Every team and every surveyor must be back checked.
  • The back check sample must include proportional number of missing and replacement respondents.
  • Households must be selected at random for back checks.

How to Select Back Check Questions

Back check questions should be selected with the performance of both the questionnaire and the surveyor in mind. Using different types of questions during the back check helps in finding the cause of poor data quality i.e. questionnaire language, surveyor performance, lack of training, etc. Some of the questions that should be asked during a back check are as follows:

Identifying Respondents and Interview Information
- Check if we have the right person
- Check if they interview took place and when did it take place.
Type 1 Variables
-Straightforward questions where we expect no variation.
-For example - education level, marital status, occupation, has children or not, etc.
Type 2 Variables
- Questions where we expect capable enumerators to get the true answer.
Type 3 Variables
- Questions that we expect to be difficult. We back check these questions to understand if they were correctly interpreted in the field.

The total duration of the back checks should be around 10-15 minutes.

Comparing Back Checks to Actual Survey Data

After completing a back check, you can now compare the data obtained from the back check to your actual survey data. This can be done by using the Stata command bcstats developed by Innovations for Poverty Action. This command compares the back check data and the survey data, and produces a data set of the comparisons between the two data sets. The command also completes enumerator checks and stability checks for variables.

The steps are as follows:

ssc install bcstats
bcstats, surveydata(filename) bcdata(filename) id(varlist) [options]

To learn about the options for bcstats, please type help bcstats on Stata after installing the command.

Remedial action after back checks

Back to Parent

This article is part of the topic Monitoring Data Quality

Additional Resources

  • list here other articles related to this topic, with a brief description and link