Secondary Data Sources

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Impact Evaluations rely on many different sources of data: administrative, survey, geospatial, sensors, telecomms, and crowd-sourcing. An important step in designing an impact evaluation is to evaluate what data sources are best suited (and which are available, given the context).


Administrative and Monitoring Data

Administrative data includes all data collected through existing government Ministries, programs and projects. It is a potentially rich source of data for an impact evaluation. Key challenges are: data is in paper format only (needs to be digitized), restricted access, lack of numeric identifier (or lack of common identifier with other key datasets).

JPAL provides a useful guide to using administrative data for impact evaluations.

Survey Data

The bread and butter of most impact evaluations is primary data collection; enumerators conducting personal interviews with respondents. These can be in the form of household surveys, firm surveys, school surveys, health facility surveys, etc. They can take place in-person, by telephone, or online.

Geo Spatial Data

This includes data from traditional satellites, micro- and nano-satellites, and unaccompanied aerial vehicles (UAVs, e.g. drones).

Remote Sensing

This includes all data collected by sensors, and through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Telecom Data

This includes call detail records, social media data, web scraping.

Crowd-sourced Data

This includes all data collected by crowd-sourcing, often through social media or mobile apps.

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This article is part of the topic Data Sources

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