Management survey tool changing the way we collect data in health surveys
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Management Survey Tool Changing the way we collect data in health surveys. Presented by Jenny Cervinskas and Bong Duke On behalf of the MST team for the Cross River State, Nigeria rollout July 6, 2011. Partners. Roll Back Malaria (RBM)/MOH Nigerian Red Cross National Society

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Management Survey Tool Changing the way we collect data in health surveys

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Management Survey ToolChanging the way we collect data in health surveys

Presented by Jenny Cervinskas

and Bong Duke

On behalf of the MST team for the Cross River State, Nigeria rollout

July 6, 2011


  • Roll Back Malaria (RBM)/MOH

  • Nigerian Red Cross National Society

  • IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies)

  • WHO



  • Purpose and key features

  • How it works

  • How much it costs

  • Benefits of the tool

  • MST rollout in Cross River State

    ③What’s next?

  • Purpose of the Management Survey Tool (MST)

    • Provide a survey methodology in which Red Cross societies, government and other partners can:

      • conduct health surveys at reduced cost

      • with limited external technical assistance

      • achieve high standards of survey design and quality

    • MST aims to simplify and improve the timeliness of the entire data collection cycle

    • To use mobile phones and a web-based, freely accessible software domain as a data collection technique to conduct health surveys

    Rapid spread & technology of cellphones opens up new possibilities

    What can you do with a phone?

    The same things you can do with any other computer.









    Traditional Paper and Pencil Questionnaire

    The time and costs of data collection can be substantially reduced if mobile phone data collection is used in place of the traditional paper and pencil method that has been the best practice in health surveys for decades

    Key Features of the MST

    • Has an accompanying training manual, technical manual, and tools adaptable to local settings

    • Allows for:

      • web based questionnaire design using EpiSurveyor

      • questionnaire forms to be uploaded to standard mobile phones

      • data collection using low cost, familiar and widely available mobile phones (e.g. Nokia, Samsung)

    • Data can be exported to Microsoft Excel, as a text file, and in Mdb format

    • Enables rapid analysis and reporting of survey results

    With the MST you can transform a standard mobile phone into an innovative evaluation or research tool

    Conduct surveys and capture data from

    a standard mobile phone

    Manage surveys, people and data from your web-based server

    How does it work?

    Data is entered and saved in cellphone, sent to the server…

    There is 2G/GPRS coverage in almost all villages in CRS

    Survey Bulletin within 24 hours

    Survey Report within 72 hours

    Web Based Server

    • Create a free account using Datadyne’sEpiSurveyor software

    • Access your web based server from a web browser anywhere in the world

    • Design your questionnaire with embedded logic and in multiple languages

    • Monitor, manage and communicate with your team

    • Export data and analyze results in real-time.


    Why use mobile phones to collect data?

    • Real-time data entry on cell phones

    • Daily upload of data from cell phone over 2G cell network to internet database

    • Real-time data monitoring and data quality checks

    • Real-time data cleaning

    • Real-time data analysis

    • Rapid production of survey results within hours or days of last interview

    Stakeholder benefits

    Decision Makers

    • No software licensing or subscriptions

    • Reduces environmental impact

    • Scalable solution for teams and studies of varying sizes

    • Get data and information rapidly for decision-making and planning


    • Incorporate a multitude of question types with custom logic and validation

    • Manage and upload surveys in multiple languages

    • Monitor staff work rate, productivity and quality

    • Export data for custom analysis with your favourite statistical analysis package


    • Conduct surveys anywhere, even in areas with no network coverage

    • Use standard and familiar mobile phone

    • No more paper to collect, transport or return

    • Automated submission of data when network reception is available

    MST Rollout in Cross River State, Nigeria:Focus on Malaria

    Site identification

    • Cross River State, Nigeria

    • 10 of 18 LGAs in CRS

    • LLIN distribution took place January-June 2011

    • MST malaria survey to provide a post-campaign evaluation of the NRC door-to-door LLIN distribution and hang-up campaign

    • Mobile network coverage

    MST survey focus: Malaria

    Data collected on key indicators

    A rainy season survey

    Survey methods: Sampling

    • Standard survey methodology used in an MST survey

    • Multi-stage cluster sampling

      • 1st stage: standard probability-proportional-to-estimated-size (PPES) selection of clusters

        • 2nd stage: selection of households- simple random sampling (SRS) to choose 10 households/cluster

    300 households

    30 clusters, 10 households per cluster

    Survey questionnaires

    • Modeled after the standardized MIS questionnaires

      • Household questionnaire

      • Person roster/Treatment and diagnosis of fever in under-5S

      • Net roster

      • Questionnaire administered in English

    Red Cross volunteers carried out the interviews

    Six teams: Two interviewers per team

    Six team leaders

    +Survey Supervisory Support Team

    Training(June 20-24)

    • Content

      • Cellphone basics

      • Questionnaires

      • Informed consent

      • Interview techniques

      • Field procedures

      • Field logistics/reporting

      • Supervisor training

    • Methods

    Adapted the MST curriculum and guide

    Fieldwork (June 27-July1)

    A day’s schedule

    • Locating the chosen cluster, preparing the sketch map, segmentation and selecting the households to be interviewed

    • Conduct household interviews

    • Team leader/interviewers send data to server

    • Evening briefing (“quality round”)

    • Data cleaning, editing and analysis

    Real-time data editing and cleaning

    Daily data monitoring, editing and cleaning

    Preliminary Results

    Results: key indicators

    Other indicators

    Results: High percentage of ITNs were used last night. High ITN use, especially in children

    * 99% of nets were ITNs & 99% of ITNs were LLINs

    ITN use by age group by gender

    Age of ITNs

    Number of persons under an ITN last night

    Treatment & diagnosis, <5 yo

    - Denominator for all indicators was % of children <5y with fever in the previous two weeks

    So, does the MST “work”?

    • Field methods followed

    • Daily data monitoring and cleaning accomplished

    • Preliminary survey results bulletin finished within 24 hours

    • Preliminary report finished within 72 hours

    • Provided excellent management information on the key indicators

    Local survey costs: CRS, Nigeria

    Cellphone-based Surveys: Summary Points


    • Via your web-based server, responses may be viewed, monitored and exported instantly


    • The removal of paper from the research process reduces the number of points at which error can be introduced


    • Monitor the productivity and quality of work conducted by field staff (GPS, time and date stamp)


    • Do not need network coverage to conduct surveys, responses are stored securely on the mobile phone, thus can reach even the most remote communities


    • Save on survey printing, distribution and collection costs

    What’s next? For IFRC…

    • Extract lessons learned from Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria and share for application in other surveys

    • Finalize and disseminate the IFRC MST technical manual and the training manual

    • Continue developing strategies for technical support in order to gradually reduce external support

    • Test the MST in other sectors and disciplines if appropriate

    • Continue searching for innovative ways to collect data in a timely fashion in order to better serve the communities we work in

    Thank-you for your attention

    What’s next?

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