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Rapid Mobile Phone-based (RAMP) survey. Changing the way we plan and manage health and development surveys Version September 10th 2012. Presentation overview . Introducing RAMP: an overview How does RAMP work? Stakeholder benefits RAMP survey sampling approach

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rapid mobile phone based ramp survey

Rapid Mobile Phone-based (RAMP) survey

Changing the way we plan and manage health and development surveys

Version September 10th 2012

presentation overview
Presentation overview
  • Introducing RAMP: an overview
  • How does RAMP work?
  • Stakeholder benefits
  • RAMP survey sampling approach
  • How much does a RAMP survey cost?
  • Costs of the RAMP pilot surveys
  • RAMP malaria survey
  • Reporting and dissemination of results
  • RAMP survey toolkit
purpose of ramp
Purpose of RAMP
  • To provide a survey methodology with which Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, governments, NGOs and other partners can conduct health and development surveys:
    • at reduced cost
    • with limited technical assistance
    • to achieve high standards of survey design and quality
  • To decrease dramatically the time and effort needed to complete data collection and have results available for decision-making
  • IFRC and partners (WHO, CDC) developed and refined the RAMP methodology and tools over several years
  • Based on:
    • improvements to the EPI survey method (WHO EPI)
    • improvements based on scientific article published by Donna Brogan, Emory professor of biostatistics, Emory U, Atlanta, USA, specialist in survey methods and analysis, and Emory and CDC colleagues in 1994
    • public-domain mobile phone software
  • Pilot tested in four surveys in Africa 2011-2012 (Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria)
key features of ramp
Key features of RAMP
  • Simplicity of sampling design to facilitate survey implementation and reduce field costs
  • Use of standard survey sampling methods
  • Use of mobile phones and internet for data collection that enables:
    • web-based questionnaire design
    • downloading of questionnaires onto standard mobile phones
    • data collection using low-cost mobile phones
  • Real-time, web-based dataset that can be easily accessed and exported for rapid analysis and reporting
  • Availability of many tools to guide survey planning and implementation
changing the way we work
Mobile and internet-based technologies are used to reduce the time taken from data collection to reporting

RAMP changes the way that data are collected and enables rapid reporting of results

RAMP empowers local ownership of evaluation and research

Changing the way we work
  • The “old”
  • The “new”
  • Paper questionnaires filled out in the field
  • Data entered into a computer at a central location
  • Data analysis and reporting often takes months to complete
  • Local capacity is often under-utilized and there is a dependence on external experts
when might a ramp survey be suitable
When might a RAMP survey be suitable?
  • Surveys where rapid results are key
  • Surveys where cost is a significant issue
  • Sub-district surveys involving multiple villages that are typically carried out by non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • National, provincial or district-level surveys carried out by Ministry of Health (MoH) or government departments (immunization, maternal and child health, malaria, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, water and sanitation, etc.) to collect intervention coverage data quickly and at low cost 
when might a ramp survey be suitable cont d
When might a RAMP survey be suitable? (cont’d)
  • District-level surveys conducted by the district health management team
  • Baseline and endline surveys for donor-funded projects/programmes
  • Repeated surveys to track time trends for key indicators
when might a ramp survey not be suitable limitations
When might a RAMP survey not be suitable: limitations?
  • Very long questionnaires with a large quantity of skip patterns
    • Paper method or commercial mobile phone software might work better
how does ramp work
How does RAMP work?

(Short version)

With RAMP you can transform a standard mobile phone into a cutting-edge evaluation and research tool

Conduct surveys and capture data from

a standard mobile phone

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

web based server
Web-based server
  • Create a free account using Datadyne’s Episurveyor software
  • Access EpiSurveyor’s 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 analyse results in real-time


why use mobile phones to collect data
Why use mobile phones to collect data?
  • Real-time data entry on mobile phones
  • Daily upload of data from mobile phone over 2G mobile 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
mobile phone application transforms complex logic into an effortless step by step process
Mobile phone applicationTransforms complex logic into an effortless step-by-step process
  • Install Java application onto a standard mobile phone
  • Log in to EpiSurveyor using user name and password, and download form
  • Capturedata in the field, even without network coverage
  • Enter data using the interface of the mobile phone
  • Automatedsubmission of data when 2G reception is available
how does ramp work1
How does RAMP work?

(Longer version)

ramp takes advantage of two technologies
RAMP takes advantage of two technologies

Low-cost, standard mobile phones

Web-based, easily accessible software application (EpiSurveyor) that enables mobile phones to become a data collection platform

web based server1
Web-based server
  • Get started and set up your team to work with the EpiSurveyor software
  • Create a free account using EpiSurveyor
  • Assign privileges
  • Access the web-based server from anywhere in the world
design your questionnaire
 Design your questionnaire
  • Collaborate with others to design the web-based questionnaire
  • Easy to master
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Embedded logic and skip patterns
store questionnaire on phone
 Store questionnaire on phone
  • Survey questionnaire is downloaded onto the mobile phone
  • Install Java application onto a standard mobile phone
  • Log in to EpiSurveyor using a user name and password and download the forms
collect data in the field
Collect data in the field
  • Fieldworker retrieves the questionnaires on the mobile phone
  • Enters data directly into the mobile phone during interviews
data sent to web based server
 Data sent to web-based server

  • Fieldworker submits data when 2G reception is available
  • Data are available immediately for processing and analysis
  • Can transfer data from phone to computer if 2G cell network is not available
data monitoring and analysis
 Data monitoring and analysis
  • Real-time data monitoring
  • Real-time data cleaning
  • Real-time analysis
  • Allows for preliminary analysis even before the data collection is complete
p roduce survey results rapidly
 Produce survey results, rapidly

RAMP deceases the time between data collection and the production of the survey results

The results can be available within days of the last interviews

so why use mobile phones to collect data
So, why use mobile phones to collect data?
  • Real-time data entry on mobile phones
  • Daily upload of data from mobile phone over 2G cell network to internet database (eliminates paper-to- electronic database transfer)
  • 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
Stakeholder benefits: decision-makers
  • Scalable solution for studies of varying sizes
  • Optimizes resource usage and reduces environmental impact
  • No software licensing or subscriptions
  • No consultants needed
  • Maintain control of data; data not analysed by third party
  • Data rapidly available for dissemination and decision-making
stakeholder benefits programme managers
Stakeholder benefits: programme managers
  • Do not have to reinvent the wheel. The RAMP toolkit offers a variety of knowledge and tools to use and adapt for needs and context of programme managers
  • Enables monitoring of survey team work rate, productivity and quality
stakeholder benefits evaluators and researchers
Stakeholder benefits: evaluators and researchers
  • Incorporate a multitude of question types with custom logic and validation
  • Manage and upload surveys in multiple languages
  • Export data for custom analysis using any statistical analysis package
stakeholder benefits fieldworkers
Stakeholder benefits: fieldworkers
  • Builds local capacity for monitoring and evaluation
  • Use standard and familiar mobile phones
  • No more paper tocollect, transport or return
  • Automated submission of data when network reception is available
ramp survey sampling approach1
RAMP survey sampling approach
  • Simplicity of sampling design to facilitate survey implementation and reduce field costs
  • Uses standard survey sampling methodologies
  • Uses segmentation to break clusters into small pieces
    • makes fieldwork more manageable
    • lowers the cost of field surveys
  • Households are selected by simple random sampling at the last stage
  • Described in detail in the RAMP toolkit (Volumes 1 and 2)
ramp a two stage cluster survey
RAMP: a two-stage cluster survey
  • First stage: selection of clusters using probability proportionate to estimated size (PPES)
  • Second stage: selection of households
      • segmentation of clusters into smaller segments using PPES (if there are too many households for simple random sampling [SRS])
      • SRS of a fixed number of households in a selected segment
accuracy of the estimates
Accuracy of the estimates
  • Sampling bias
    • Very, very small theoretical bias
      • related to potential errors in the estimated sizes of clusters (there is an option showing how to eliminate this potential bias)
      • related to potential errors in the estimated sizes of segments (bias likely to be nearly non-existent)
  • Potential non-sampling bias generally more important than sampling issues
    • Examples including non-response, information bias including social desirability, faulty questionnaires, interviewer recording errors, data processing errors and others
ramp survey team
RAMP survey team
  • Programme manager
  • Survey coordinator
  • Local data manager/data analyst
  • Field survey team
    • field supervisor, interviewers, drivers, local guide
  • Supervisory support and monitoring team
initial focus of the ramp survey tool malaria
Initial focus of the RAMP survey tool: malaria
  • First RAMP surveys were done to evaluate malaria bed net mass distribution programmes
  • Sample size was calculated to provide results to guide management decision-making
  • Questionnaires created based on alignment with MIS/RBM; core RBM/WHO indicators related to nets are measured
  • Training curriculum and fieldwork procedures have been developed and can be adapted to the local needs and situation
  • Rapid reporting of results (a survey bulletin and a survey report are produced)
survey methods
Survey methods
  • Cross-sectional, population-based survey
  • Sampling frame:
    • First stage: selection of 30 clusters/PSUs using probability proportional to estimated size (PPES) sampling
    • Second stage: segmentation of the cluster/PSU; one segment chosen using PPES
    • Simple random sampling (SRS) to choose 10 households in the segment
  • Sample size: 300 households
  • Precision:
    • +/- 7-8% for each key net indicator
  • Survey questionnaires (modelled and adapted from MIS/RBM)
  • Household questionnaire
    • number of sleeping spaces
    • IRS
    • household characteristics (wealth asset questions, etc.)
  • Person roster
    • number and age of persons slept in household last night
    • diagnosis of malaria/fever in children under five and its treatment
  • Net roster
    • type of nets, source of nets
    • who slept under each net last night
recruitment and training
Recruitment and training
  • Interviewers and field supervisors recruited and trained
  • Training: 4 to 5 days
  • RAMP toolkit: Volume 3, Guide for trainers, provides sample agenda, curriculum, tools and forms
training content and methods
Training content and methods
  • Content
    • survey background and purpose
    • questionnaires
    • informed consent
    • mobile phone basics
    • interview techniques
    • field procedures
    • field logistics/reporting
    • supervisor training
  • Methods
    • presentations, role play, group discussion, demonstrations, field practice (2 outings), review of data collected
  • Most surveys can be finished in one week (5 days)!
  • 6 teams, 1 cluster per day per team, 30 clusters in 5 days
  • Survey teams:
    • 6 teams of 1 team supervisor and 2 interviewers per team
  • Survey supervisory support and monitoring team (eg., RCRC, IFRC, MoH):
    • Planning, logistic and financial responsibilities, field support, daily “quality” rounds, and remote monitoring of data quality
a typical day s schedule
A typical day’s schedule
  • Morning briefing and travel to cluster
  • Meeting with community leader and guide, preparation of sketch maps, segmentation, selection of households to be interviewed
  • Conduct household interviews
  • Fieldworker sends data to server
  • Debriefing at day’s end with supervisory support and monitoring team
  • Data monitoring, cleaning and preliminary analysis
survey bulletin
Survey bulletin
  • A brief, spreadsheet-based results bulletin can be produced 24 hours from last interview
  • Visually displays the data from analysis tables contained in the analysis plan
  • Shows main indicators and the results
survey report
Survey report
  • Full survey report provides a detailed description of background, methods, results, and discussion of results
  • Disseminate report to stakeholders and others to prompt action on the survey findings
the ramp survey toolkit
The RAMP survey toolkit
  • Three linked publications plus files on the website (www.ifrc.org/ramp) make up the RAMP toolkit
    • Volume 1: Designing a RAMP survey: technical considerations
    • Volume 2: Implementing a RAMP survey: practical field guide
    • Volume 3: Training a RAMP survey team: guide for trainers
    • Files on the website: dynamic and kept up to date
      • Example database and STATA files for data cleaning and analysis of a sample malaria survey
      • Latest up-to-date malaria questionnaires and STATA files for data cleaning and analysis
      • Country reports and results bulletins, information, useful links
  • Together these provide a methodology, operations protocol and numerous tools to carry out a RAMP survey
ramp website a dynamic resource
RAMP website: a dynamic resource

  • See key documents from RAMP surveys being done around the world. Survey questionnaires, training curricula, fieldwork tools and forms, survey reports—and more!
  • Become part of a network of those using RAMP for development work