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Data sources and collection methods. Ken Mease Cairo, June 2009. What types of Data?. A thorough assessment may well include: Archival and secondary data Survey data Quantitative and qualitative approaches and data It also will likely include de jure and de facto information.

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data sources and collection methods

Data sources and collection methods

Ken Mease

Cairo, June 2009

what types of data
What types of Data?

A thorough assessment may well include:

  • Archival and secondary data
  • Survey data
  • Quantitative and qualitative approaches and data
  • It also will likely include de jure and de facto information
qualitative and quantitative data
Qualitative and Quantitative data
  • There are basically two types of data: qualitative and quantitative
  • Qualitative data are usually text or words and quantitative data - numbers
  • Qualitative approaches, if conducted in a rigorous manner, require more skill than most quantitative approaches
qualitative data and approaches
Qualitative Data and Approaches
  • Qualitative approaches provide text data, but increasingly audio, video and images
  • They are more time consuming to analyze
  • Text management software, such as NVIVO, AtlasTI and AnSWR (available free at
  • Coding is a very subjective process and open to various problems, such as investigator bias or a lack of inter-coder reliability
quantitative data and approaches
Quantitative Data and Approaches
  • Quantitative approaches provide increased rigor by investigating relationships at known levels of probability
  • They are easier to analyze because researchers use standard, replicable techniques
  • Common software includes SPSS, Stata and SAS
sources and types of governance data
Country reports/desk studies

Cross-country (region)comparative surveys

Expert assessments

Government data

Household surveys

Mass opinion surveys

Key Stakeholder Surveys

Media Indicators

Business surveys

Sources and Types of Governance Data
combining different sources and methods
Combining different sources and methods
  • Combining methodologies and types of data often provides the most useful results.
  • Combining archival information and administrative data with original qualitative and quantitative survey data allows for triangulation
  • This approach can increase the level of professionalism, credibility and legitimacy.
administrative archival and secondary
Administrative, archival and secondary

These data, both qualitative and quantitative, objective, reported events, perception and proxies come from a variety of sources:

  • Narrative reports, administrative data and other information routinely collected by government ministries
  • The constitution, laws, policies and legislation
  • Statistics and data gathered by NGOs, international organizations and academics.
data mapping
Data Mapping
  • It is the best way to identify existing data - accessibility, quality and gaps
  • One tool available to assist with this process is the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework
  • A senior academic conducted the data mapping exercise in Zambia and was very valuable
survey data
Survey Data
  • Qualitative and Quantitative
  • Sample sizes can range from 20 to 20,000 or more
  • Costs can range accordingly
  • There are a range of options for who collects the data – independent surveys firms, academics, NSOs
  • Perception and reported events data
different types of interviewing
Different Types of Interviewing
  • Structured interviews use an identical instrument for each respondent,
  • Interviewers are trained and have explicit instructions.
  • This technique uses primarily structured questions with fixed response sets and very few open-ended questions
types of interviewing
Types of Interviewing
  • Semi-structured interviews use a written list of questions that need to be covered in a particular order
  • The questions are often developed from informal discussions and focus groups.
  • They can include open-ended and/or more structured questions
  • Ideal when working with elites, managers, bureaucrats and other people who have limited time
types of surveys and data collection methods
Types of surveys and data collection methods
  • Face-to-face data collection is likely the best option in most developing countries
  • It is also the most expensive and time-consuming
  • It requires professional management of trained interviewers, sampling and other aspects of the study
mail surveys
Mail surveys
  • Work well only if the postal system is reliable
  • The questionnaire must be carefully designed for self-administration, and there should not be too many language issues
  • The cost is usually quite reasonable
  • It misses the homeless and other vulnerable groups who may not have a valid mailing address
internet surveys
Internet surveys
  • Require special planning and design
  • Very good for certain populations
  • These surveys can suffer from low response rates.
  • Developing and implementing internet surveys has become very reasonable in terms of cost
  • Very reasonably priced internet services are available - Survey Gizmo at
telephone surveys
Telephone surveys
  • May have coverage issues in most countries.
  • In many countries, people do not have a phone in their home, and if they do have a phone, it is usually a mobile or cell phone
  • Most cell phone providers do not make telephone numbers available for use in random-digit-dial surveys.
focus groups
Focus groups
  • Can generate information about the background conditions surrounding governance issues.
  • Focus groups are usually efficient in terms of time and money.
  • They are highly participatory and have the potential of generating solutions to the problems identified by the group members
  • It is very demanding and requires highly skilled coordinators.
focus groups1
Focus groups
  • Make individual ratings insignificant
  • Accuracy can suffer, as some individuals may not feel comfortable to speak up in public, while others are hard to keep quiet
  • Focus groups yield less systematic results
  • Focus groups are best used to identify issues and develop surveys rather than as the only source of data
who collects the data
Who collects the data
  • Outside contractors – surveys and desk studies
  • Local survey researchers
  • Local academics for desk studies
  • National Statistical Offices
  • Government ministries
  • NGOs/CSOs
data collection and dissemination exercise
Data collection and dissemination exercise
  • Pick aGovernance issue in your country
  • Choose the levels and types of the data you will collect – Macro, Micro, De jure and De facto
  • Identify the types and sources of data
  • Choose the data collection method/s
  • Identify who will collect the data
  • Select several options for sharing the results with different audiences