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Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys Survey Design Workshop Use of PDAs in MICS MICS4 Survey Design Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys Survey Design Workshop Use of PDAs in MICS MICS4 Survey Design Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys Survey Design Workshop Use of PDAs in MICS MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

2 Mobile data collection In the recent years we have seen development of many innovative data collection tools using handheld PocketPC personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones or tablet personal computers. MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

3 Personal Digital Assistants Handheld computers Various operating systems –Windows mobile –Palm –Others (e.g. iPhone, Nokia) Cell phone capability –Plus: good communications –Minus: security MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

4 Tablet Personal Computer Tablet – sized computer with the key features of a full – size personal computer Various operating systems Computer vs. cell phone capability MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

5 Tablet vs PDA Choosing a tablet over a PDA -Tablets have much larger screens, better resolutions, more space for on screen typing making things easier to see and more useful for data entry -Tablets and PDAs have similar battery life, though if PDAs are used for making and receiving calls battery will need more frequent charging -Better security MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

6 PDA Software Variety of software available: CSPro Pocket PC creations Pendragon Techneos Visual CE Visual basic Available software varies by operating system –Most available for Windows mobile –Some only Palm MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

7 Software requirements MICS survey requirements –Keep track of the data path –Multiple languages on the fly –Roster manipulation –Saving an interview in the middle –Dynamically customized questions and response categories –Powerful programming language Able to handle complex consistency checks and skips –Ability to run the same application in PDAs, tablets or PCs –Capability to administer instruments at different times –Able to handle long/complex questionnaires MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

8 CSPro Windows software tool for census and survey processing Developed jointly by IPC-US Census Bureau, Macro International, SerPro Public domain/funded by USAID Free download at – – MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

9 CSPro Modules –Data entry –CAPI Data collection (laptops/tablets, PDAs) –Data editing and imputation –Frequencies and crosstabulations –Data manipulation utilities –Data dissemination –Export to statistical packages MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

10 MICS CAPI System All applications to collect and administer data are written in CSPro Three systems: –Interviewers - data collection – PDA/Tablet –Supervisors – data monitoring and control – PDA/Tablet –Central Office - centralized data and monitor fieldwork - PC MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

11 Screen Reports Interviewers System Supervisors System Int 2 Int 5 Supervisor Central Office System System Updates Reports Central Office Repair Utility Update Utility

12 Questionnaires One question per screen –Question area –Answer area –(for text or numeric responses) –List of categories (where appropriate) MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

13 Customizable questions Multiple languages –Language can be changed during interviewing Questions customized to the individual Response categories also customizable Radio buttons for categorical variables Check boxes for multiple response variables MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

14 A Typical Screen Navigation/tools Display/enter values Possible Responses Questions Area MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

15 Virtual Keyboard Values in ranges or textual text needs to be typed Soft Keyboard MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

16 Dynamically Generate Answers Colors have meanings Value Sets populated MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

17 Benefits –Improved data quality? Pro – checking of data in real time during interview Con – possibility for interviewers to avoid work Overall – positive improvements, but only with good quality controls in place –Eliminates missing information –Shortens interviews –Data ready almost immediately –Survey indicators monitored early in fieldwork MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

18 Equipment Power - battery charging is an issue –PDAs generally give close to a full day of work –May require charging or swapping batteries during the day –Spare battery needed for each PDA –Separate charger is good but many only charge with battery in PDA Need for extra tablets/PDAs –Needed for all trainees (not just number of interviewers/supervisors planned for fieldwork), plus IT staff –In case of problems/loss in the field Cases/covers –Good protection needed depending on expected conditions MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

19 Equipment Security issues –Theft of PDAs/Tablets is a risk –Increased risk if PDAs are also cell phones (smartphones) Virus risk –PDA viruses from downloaded programs –PC viruses infecting SD cards (e.g. when SD cards are used in PCs in Internet cafés) Cell phones to communicate with field teams –Built in if PDA is smartphone MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

20 Data loss risk –Lost/stolen PDAs/Tablets –Hardware failure –Viruses –User error Risk management –Backup to SD card immediately after interview –Copy to supervisor at end of day –Paper questionnaires can be used in emergency MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

21 PDA Costs Basic PDAs/Tablet cost approx $450 with no accessories Plus approx $100 in needed accessories: SD card Spare battery Case Screen protector Spare stylus Vehicle chargers (1 per team) –Total approx $55k MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

22 Costs Costs balanced out by –Printing of only 10% of questionnaires –No field editors –No data entry –No computers required for data entry However –Technical assistance costs are higher! Cost savings –if PDAs are re-used –Savings on secondary processing, data editing MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

23 Technical assistance Significant extra programming compared with classic data entry –Questionnaire programming is more complicated Addition of question text More customized response categories More complicated flow to facilitate interviewing Possible need for multiple languages –Data management programming much more complicated (even than questionnaires) Three systems (interviewers, supervisors, central) compared with two (data entry, data coordinator) Logistics of data management much more complicated MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

24 Preparation and Pretesting Early design of questionnaires needed –Last minute changes to questionnaires are difficult Programs prepared well in advance and thoroughly pretested Full pretest required to properly test all aspects of the system Programs must be ready and thoroughly tested before training begins –Updating applications during training is problematic Making the change is easy, but Preparing update for all PDAs takes time Updating all PDAs is very time consuming MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

25 Training –Paper questionnaires still important Discussions and version control Documentation Training –Facility for training (power, desks) –Good documentation –Train on paper first, then PDA Gives the big picture Paper can also be used in emergency in the field –Fieldwork testing very important –Recommended – 4 week training, Including 3 separate days of field practice Extensive practice during training is needed MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

26 Data transfer Logistics of transferring data to central office –Cell phone Only if PDA is smartphone –Wireless email Limited Wifi locations –Internet cafés Virus risk on PCs –Field control teams Via bluetooth or SD cards More reliable, but slower MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

27 Field Staff –Interviewers should be computer literate Younger interviewers who are comfortable with cell phones quickly learn to use PDAs –Interviewers need an introduction to computers and to PDAs –Supervisors need to be very comfortable with applications –Balance between good interview experience and good computer knowledge MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

28 DP staff Several local data processing staff needed to troubleshoot in the field –User errors in using the system –Program malfunctions – usually related to user error –Lost data problems – usually found on the backups –PDA viruses –PC viruses on SD cards –Frozen PDAs –Problems transferring data –Problems related to data inconsistencies that cannot be resolved by the team –Upgrading programs Central office staff for secondary processing MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

29 Conclusions Quicker, better results are possible Many complications –Costs likely higher –Logistics much more complicated –Technical assistance needs increased Don't underestimate how much work it takes to properly implement a survey, even with PDAs. –It is very easy to conduct a poor survey MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

30 Thank you MICS4 Survey Design Workshop

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