Difference between revisions of "Primary Data Collection"

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While impact evaluations often benefit from [[Secondary Data Sources|secondary sources of data]] like administrative data, census data, or household data, these  sources may not always be available. In such cases, researchers need to collect data directly through a series of [[Questionnaire Design|well-designed]] interviews and [[Survey Pilot|surveys]]. The process of collecting primary data requires a great deal of foresight, [[Field Management|planning]] and coordination.  
 
While impact evaluations often benefit from [[Secondary Data Sources|secondary sources of data]] like administrative data, census data, or household data, these  sources may not always be available. In such cases, researchers need to collect data directly through a series of [[Questionnaire Design|well-designed]] interviews and [[Survey Pilot|surveys]]. The process of collecting primary data requires a great deal of foresight, [[Field Management|planning]] and coordination.  
 
Listed below are the crucial steps involved the in [[Preparing for Field Data Collection | preparation and collection]] of primary data:
 
Listed below are the crucial steps involved the in [[Preparing for Field Data Collection | preparation and collection]] of primary data:
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=== Pre-register research ===
 
=== Pre-register research ===
 
The first step with any new research project is to [[Pre-Registration | pre-register]] your research, including the methodology, and draft a [[Pre-Analysis Plan | pre-analysis plan]].
 
The first step with any new research project is to [[Pre-Registration | pre-register]] your research, including the methodology, and draft a [[Pre-Analysis Plan | pre-analysis plan]].
 +
 
=== Acquire approval from human subjects ===
 
=== Acquire approval from human subjects ===
 
There are strict rules about [[Human Subjects Approval | acquiring approval from human subjects]]. Researchers must understand the [[Research Ethics|ethics]] and rules for [[Data Security|security of sensitive data]], and therefore should use proper tools for [[Encryption | encryption]] and [[De-identification | de-identification]] of [[Personally Identifiable Information_(PII)|personally identifiable information (PII)]].
 
There are strict rules about [[Human Subjects Approval | acquiring approval from human subjects]]. Researchers must understand the [[Research Ethics|ethics]] and rules for [[Data Security|security of sensitive data]], and therefore should use proper tools for [[Encryption | encryption]] and [[De-identification | de-identification]] of [[Personally Identifiable Information_(PII)|personally identifiable information (PII)]].
 +
 
=== Compile the survey budget ===
 
=== Compile the survey budget ===
 
The [[Survey Budget | survey budget]] must be prepared before hiring a [[Survey Firm|survey firm]]. This step allows researchers to calculate expected costs of conducting a study, and compare these with the proposals submitted by survey firms.
 
The [[Survey Budget | survey budget]] must be prepared before hiring a [[Survey Firm|survey firm]]. This step allows researchers to calculate expected costs of conducting a study, and compare these with the proposals submitted by survey firms.
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Based on the available funding, researchers can decide upon factors like the adequate '''sampling frame'''(which is a list of individuals or units in a population from which a sample can be drawn), [[Sample Size | sample size]], [[Sampling & Power Calculations | statistical power]] based on which they can then [[Randomized_Control_Trials|randomize treatment]].
 
Based on the available funding, researchers can decide upon factors like the adequate '''sampling frame'''(which is a list of individuals or units in a population from which a sample can be drawn), [[Sample Size | sample size]], [[Sampling & Power Calculations | statistical power]] based on which they can then [[Randomized_Control_Trials|randomize treatment]].
  
=== Design and translate the survey instrument ===
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=== Procure a survey firm ===
The next step in the process is to then [[Questionnaire Design | design]] and [[Questionnaire Translation | translate the survey instrument]], which is often in the form of a '''questionnaire'''.
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The [[Survey_Firm|survey firm]] must be [[Procuring a Survey Firm|procured]] using detailed [[Survey Firm TOR|Terms of Reference]], and after performing due-diligence among local research-firm options.
 +
 
 +
=== Carry out the a pre-pilot ===
 +
The first-stage of [[Survey Pilot|Piloting the survey instrument]] involves two things: [[Piloting Survey Content |piloting content]], and [[Piloting Survey Protocols| piloting protocols]]. Clear protocols ensure that fieldwork is carried out consistently across teams and/or regions, and are important for [[Reproducible_Research|reproducible research]].
 +
 
 +
=== Refine and review the survey design ===
 +
The first-stage of the [Survey_Pilot|survey pilot] allows researchers to [[Questionnaire_Design|design the instrument]]. This design is then used for the  [Piloting_Survey_Content|content-focused pilot]], which allows researchers to review and refine the structure of the instrument.
 +
 
 +
=== Translate the survey instrument ===
 +
After the content-focused pilot, the questionnaire (or the instrument) is [[Questionnaire_Translation|translated]]. This step is crucial for the purpose of making the study more effective.
  
 
=== Program the instrument ===
 
=== Program the instrument ===
Once the [[Survey Pilot|piloting of the instrument]] is complete, and [[Questionnaire Design|design]] has been finalized, the next step is to [[Questionnaire Programming|program]] the questionnaire (the survey instrument).  
+
Once an [[IRB_Aproval]] is obtained, the research firm [[Questionnaire Programming|programs]]the instrument.
 
<br/> Also refer to these guidelines for [[SurveyCTO_Coding_Practices|coding in SurveyCTO]].
 
<br/> Also refer to these guidelines for [[SurveyCTO_Coding_Practices|coding in SurveyCTO]].
  
=== Establish survey protocols ===
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=== Train enumerators and monitor data quality ===
Establish [[Survey Protocols | survey protocols]].
+
After validating the programming of the questionnaire, the researchers [[Enumerator Training | train enumerators]], and [[Monitoring_Data_Quality|monitor data-quality]] to generate a '''final draft''' of the instrument. Monitoring can be done in the form of can be done through [[Back_Checks|back checks]], high frequency checks, and other methods.
=== Pilot the survey instrument ===
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[[Survey Pilot|Pilot]] the survey instrument–both the [[Piloting Survey Content | content]] and [[Piloting Survey Protocols | protocols]].
 
=== Procure a survey firm ===
 
[[Procuring a Survey Firm|Procure]] a [[Survey Firm |survey firm]], taking care to prepare detailed [[Survey Firm TOR|Terms of Reference]].
 
=== Train enumerators ===
 
[[Enumerator Training | Train enumerators]]
 
=== Monitor data quality ===
 
[[Monitoring Data Quality | Monitor data quality]] can be done through back-checks, high frequency checks, and other methods.
 
 
=== Maintain  an organized data folder ===
 
=== Maintain  an organized data folder ===
via <code>[[iefolder]]</code>.
+
DIME has created a Stata package, via <code>[[iefolder]]</code>, which creates the [[DataWork_Folder|DataWork folder]]. This package helps increase project efficiency and reduces the risk of error in a study, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the study's final results.
  
 
== Back to Parent ==
 
== Back to Parent ==

Revision as of 22:36, 19 March 2020

Primary data collection is the process of gathering data through surveys, interviews or experiments. A typical example of primary data is household surveys. In this form of data collection, researchers can personally ensure that primary data meets the standards of quality, availability, statistical power and sampling required for a particular research question. With globally increasing access to specialized survey tools, survey firms, and field manuals, primary data has become the dominant source for empirical inquiry in development economics.

Read First

  • The DIME Research Standards provide a comprehensive checklist to ensure that collection and handling of research data is in line with global best-practices.
  • Personal interviews are the most effective medium for primary data collection. Depending on the research question, these interviews may take the form of household surveys, business (firm) surveys, or agricultural (farm) surveys.
  • iefieldkit is a Stata package that aids primary data collection. It currently supports three major components of that workflow: survey design; survey completion; and data-cleaning and survey harmonization.

Guidelines

While impact evaluations often benefit from secondary sources of data like administrative data, census data, or household data, these sources may not always be available. In such cases, researchers need to collect data directly through a series of well-designed interviews and surveys. The process of collecting primary data requires a great deal of foresight, planning and coordination. Listed below are the crucial steps involved the in preparation and collection of primary data:

Pre-register research

The first step with any new research project is to pre-register your research, including the methodology, and draft a pre-analysis plan.

Acquire approval from human subjects

There are strict rules about acquiring approval from human subjects. Researchers must understand the ethics and rules for security of sensitive data, and therefore should use proper tools for encryption and de-identification of personally identifiable information (PII).

Compile the survey budget

The survey budget must be prepared before hiring a survey firm. This step allows researchers to calculate expected costs of conducting a study, and compare these with the proposals submitted by survey firms.

Determine relevant parameters of a study

Based on the available funding, researchers can decide upon factors like the adequate sampling frame(which is a list of individuals or units in a population from which a sample can be drawn), sample size, statistical power based on which they can then randomize treatment.

Procure a survey firm

The survey firm must be procured using detailed Terms of Reference, and after performing due-diligence among local research-firm options.

Carry out the a pre-pilot

The first-stage of Piloting the survey instrument involves two things: piloting content, and piloting protocols. Clear protocols ensure that fieldwork is carried out consistently across teams and/or regions, and are important for reproducible research.

Refine and review the survey design

The first-stage of the [Survey_Pilot|survey pilot] allows researchers to design the instrument. This design is then used for the [Piloting_Survey_Content|content-focused pilot]], which allows researchers to review and refine the structure of the instrument.

Translate the survey instrument

After the content-focused pilot, the questionnaire (or the instrument) is translated. This step is crucial for the purpose of making the study more effective.

Program the instrument

Once an IRB_Aproval is obtained, the research firm programsthe instrument.
Also refer to these guidelines for coding in SurveyCTO.

Train enumerators and monitor data quality

After validating the programming of the questionnaire, the researchers train enumerators, and monitor data-quality to generate a final draft of the instrument. Monitoring can be done in the form of can be done through back checks, high frequency checks, and other methods.

Maintain an organized data folder

DIME has created a Stata package, via iefolder, which creates the DataWork folder. This package helps increase project efficiency and reduces the risk of error in a study, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the study's final results.

Back to Parent

This article is part of Primary Data Collection

Additional Resources

  • Oxfam provides a detailed case study of how to use electronic data collection (SurveyCTO) combined with Stata code to improve data quality in the field.