Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI)

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Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews(CAPI) is a face-to-face interview method where the interviewer uses a tablet, mobile phone or a computer to record answers given during the interview. There is a wide variety of CAPI software in the market which makes it easy even for someone with no programming experience to program a questionnaire for computer assisted interviews.

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Advantages over PAPI method

CAPI method has a few advantages over the PAPI method of data collection. The advantages are link to better data quality and management and are listed below:

  • The data can be validated during the interview leading to better quality data. Along with data validation, the data is also in electronic format which cuts down on the time and effort needed to digitize paper survey data and removes mistakes made when copying the data from paper to digital format.
  • Complex skips in the questionnaire can be programmed directly into the software, making the survey more efficient and accurate.
  • It is also a good tool to monitor enumerators. Since, the software can record start and end time and gps location of an interview automatically, supervisors can check if the interview team did actually conduct the interview or not by comparing that data to other interviews where a supervisor was present.

While CAPI method has advantages over PAPI methods in terms of data quality, and efficiency, PAPI method of surveying is still useful when an extensive amount of note needs to be taken during the survey. One such situation when a PAPI interview is preferred over CAPI is during a survey pilot.

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This article is part of the topic Preparing for Data Collection

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