Checklist: Preparing for a Survey Pilot
1. Preparing for a Survey Pilot
 Have you identified a sufficient number of qualified interviewers?
 Have you trained the interviewers on the survey instrument?
 Have you identified a comparable area and population for the pilot?
 Have you secured all approvals / letters of support needed in your context?
 Has someone contacted the local leaders in the pilot area to inform them of planned survey activity?
 Will the team be staying overnight in the pilot area? If so, do you have necessary permissions to travel (from government, World Bank, etc)?
 Has someone taken care of the logistics (e.g. car rentals, meals or per diem for interviewers)?
 Do you have a venue reserved for training the interviewers?
 Do you have a set protocol for identifying participants in focus group discussions?
 Do you have a form prepared for interviewers to record qualitative observations and notes from discussion?
 Have you tested interviewers’ note-taking abilities during the training and provided feedback on content and handwriting?
 If you do not speak the local language(s), do you have a tried-and-true research assistant to accompany you to translate?
 Is the questionnaire you are piloting fully translated into the local language?
 Is the instrument formatted for printing? Make sure there are sufficient margins on all pages for taking notes.
 Did you print enough copies of the instrument for all interviewers and all people accompanying interviews to have a copy for each planned interview?
 Does the survey instrument include both the research team language and local language (where different)? If not, remember to print out copies in each language as applicable.
 Do you have access to a printer to print revisions in real time if significant changes are needed?
 Have you instructed interviewers (or observers) to record the start and end time for each module?
 Have you office-tested the final version of the programmed instrument for any bugs, and to ensure that all questions appear as expected and reflect the final translation?
 Do you have enough tablets for all interviewers and all people accompanying interviews?
 Have you set up a SurveyCTO server for the pilot? (For DIME members: Remember, no data can be uploaded to the DIME Test server.)
-  Is the name for the pilot form on the server clearly distinguishable from the final survey?
-  Have you assigned a form id unique to the pilot? (to avoid confusing pilot data with final data)
-  Do all team members who need it have log-on information?
 Is the SurveyCTO Collect app updated to the version of SurveyCTO your server is running? (See the ‘Collect’ tab on your server for instructions.)
-  Best to update your server and app to the latest version of SurveyCTO before starting the pilot.
-  Once you have piloted, avoid updating the app even if a new version is released, to avoid compatibility issues.
 Are all tablets / phones running the most updated version of their operating system (OS)? (or at a minimum, are they all running exactly the same OS?)
 Are all tablets / phones set to the correct date and time?
 Is the pilot-form downloaded and ready-to-go on all tablets?
 Are all tablets fully charged? Do you have battery packs with you in case any batteries run out?
 Do you have a couple of paper copies of the survey, for observers to use, and/or as a last resort in case of unsolvable tablet problems?
 Have you built in time to the field plan to make any required revisions to the programming and re-download the revised forms on all tablets?
 Have you set up Stata do-files for importing and labeling data?
 Have you set up a Stata do-file for running high frequency checks?
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This article is part of the topic, Check Lists for Field Coordinators.