Remote Surveys

Revision as of 17:35, 7 April 2022 by Roshni13khincha (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Depending on whether data is collected in-person or remotely, there are two methods of primary data collection - remote surveys and field surveys. The impact evaluation team (or research team) can conduct remote surveys either to conduct a follow-up survey after an initial round of field survey, or when the study area is not accessible, for instance in the case of a conflict. In such cases, the research team can still get access to data that can help them solve common development challenges such as lack of access to water, electricity or healthcare.

Read First

Phone Surveys (CATI)

In phone surveys or computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), the enumerator calls the respondent and asks them the questions over telephone. The enumerator enters these responses onto a programmed digital survey, which is then shared electronically with the research team. Phone surveys have 2 major advantages. Firstly, they allow the research team to collect data remotely, which is cost-effective since collecting data through face-to-face interviews can often be expensive. Secondly, they are a great option for collecting data during emergencies or in conflict areas while still retaining the personal touch that researchers prefer.

However, when a research team decides to use a phone survey for collecting data, they must keep in mind concerns about:

Other Remote Surveys

Besides phone surveys, there are other forms of remote data collection as well. These include web surveys and recorded surveys.

Web surveys

In a web survey, the research team directly shares a link to a programmed questionnaire with respondents via text or email, without relying on an enumerator. The respondent then answers the questions in the survey by clicking the link to the survey, either on a phone or a laptop. Therefore, in the case of web surveys, it is important for respondents to have access to internet and have the ability to read and understand a written questionnaire.

Web-surveys are useful because they reduce survey costs considerably as there are no enumerators involved. They can also be programmed easily using open data kit (ODK)-based tools, without the need for a lot of modification in the drafting process. However, they too suffer from the problem of lower response rates which arise due to self-selection.

Recorded surveys

In a recorded survey, the questionnaire is pre-recorded in either written or oral form. Examples of recorded surveys include interactive voice response (IVR) surveys, short message service (SMS) surveys, and surveys shared via social media and email. These surveys are effective when the surveys are very short (4-5 questions and/or less than 5 minutes on average), have zero or minimal skip patterns, and the questions are very straightforward to understand.

The downside of a recorded survey is that there is a lack of human interaction, and the respondent cannot ask for more clarity on a question. This can lead to lower response rates compared to phone surveys as well as in-person interviews. They can also result in data that is potentially noisy, that is, the answers either vary a lot or are vague because respondents could not interpret questions accurately.

Related Pages

Click here for pages that link to this topic.

Additional Resources