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Wednesday 15th July, 16:00 - 17:30 Room: L-103

Survey Research in Developing Countries 2

Convenor Dr Irene Pavesi (Small Arms Survey )

Session Details

This session explores the challenges involved in conducting survey research in developing countries and discuss best practices in sampling, questionnaire design and fieldwork organisation.

Even more often than in developed countries up-to-date data on population size and composition is absent. Mobile populations, scarcely populated areas and areas connected only by low quality roads and security issues complicate the creation of a sampling frame. What strategies have researchers used to deal with these challenges?

Response rates tend to be high in developing countries. This is in part because in rural areas trust tends to be high or a survey is seen as an interesting break from everyday life. However in some cases the consent of village heads or other local leaders is an order to people to participate. How does this fit with the idea of informed consent?

High poverty in some areas raises ethical questions on whether and how respondents should be compensated for their time; if respondents receive cash or in kind compensation this can lead to competition among households for inclusion in the survey. What are appropriate ways to compensate respondents?

Large household with complex structures can make collection of household data a time consuming and error prone process. How can data be collected in an efficient way?

High ethnic and linguistic diversity poses challenges to both questionnaire translation and selection of interviewers. How can these challenges be dealt with?

If the people who design the questionnaire are not from the country of data collection, what procedures can be used to ensure that concepts in the survey resonate with those of the target population?

We welcome papers on these and related topics, such as reaching female respondents, use of ICT in data collection, surveying in (post-)conflict areas, and surveys among populations with high illiteracy rates

Paper Details

1. Responding on sensitive topics: firearm issues in post conflict settings
Dr Irene Pavesi (Small Arms Survey)

Firearm related issues can be considered as a sensitive or threatening topic. Social desirability, privacy issues plus the fear of disclosure of answers to third parties are examples of factors to be taken into account when designing, administering a survey as well as when interpreting survey results. In post conflict affected settings, further sensitivity may be fuelled by fear of repercussions, especially where firearm ownership is forbidden or registration is mandatory. This paper explores the challenges of surveying firearm related issues, including attitudes, ownership and disarmament, in post conflict settings and discusses case studies in Somalia, Uganda and Kenya.

2. Second Stage Sampling for Conflict Areas: Methods and Implications
Ms Kristen Himelein (The World Bank Group)
Dr Stephanie Eckman (Institute for Employment Research (IAB) )

The collection of survey data from war zones or other unstable security situations is vulnerable to error because conflict often limits the options for implementation. Although there are elevated risks throughout the process, we focus here on challenges to frame construction and sample selection. We explore several alternative sampling approaches considered for the second stage selection of households for a survey in Mogadishu, Somalia. The methods are evaluated on precision, the complexity of calculations, the amount of time necessary for preparatory office work and the field implementation, and ease of implementation and verification.

3. Good practices in ethical and safe survey research on violence against women
Dr Henrica A.f.m. Jansen (UNFPA)

While a few decades ago research on violence against women (VAW) was the terrain of activists and researchers working on VAW, it now has become the area of interest for donors, UN agencies and governments. These new players do not always realize that measuring VAW is sensitive and has the potential of significant safety risks. Not taking measures to minimize these risks will potentially put respondents and field workers in danger and can also hugely affect data quality. The paper will provide examples of field experiences and good practices, with special focus on interviewer training and field work processes.

4. Surveying in the Aftermath of an Earthquake : The Lessons of Haiti
Miss Claire Zanuso (DIAL)

In Haiti, the earthquake’s repercussions were much more dramatic than in other countries hit by stronger earthquakes. Following the phase of emergency aid to earthquake victims, the time has come to analyse its impacts on Haitian society. Such was the purpose of the ECVMAS survey conducted in late 2012. In addition to the structural problems involved in such a large-scale operation in Haiti, we had to cope with challenges raised by the earthquake. This article looks at the three main methodological challenges: update an obsolete sampling frame, build a suitable questionnaire, and use a computer-assisted survey tool.

5. How random is within household random selection?
Dr Evelyn Ersanilli (University of Oxford)

A common step in survey data collection is randomly selecting a household member for an individual interview.
The EUMAGINE survey is a face-to-face PAPI conducted in Morocco, Turkey, Senegal and Ukraine in 2011. To select a household member for a personal interview, interviewers used random number stickers in the first three countries and the first birthday criterion in Ukraine. This paper will examine whether the within household selection was random or whether respondent , household or interviewer characteristics affected the selection.