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  1. Fieldwork

  2. The Nature of Fieldwork • Researchers have two major options for collecting data: • Developing their own organizations or • Contracting with fieldwork agencies • In either case, data collection involves the use of field force

  3. Fieldwork/Data-Collection Process • All fieldwork involves following activities: • Selection of field workers • Training of field workers • Supervision of field workers • Validation of fieldwork • Evaluation of fieldwork

  4. Selection of Field Workers • Develop job specification for the project • Decide what characteristics field workers should have • Recruit appropriate individuals • Interviewers’ background characteristics, opinions, perceptions, expectations, and attitudes can affect the responses they elicit

  5. Training of Field Workers • Training of field workers is critical to the quality of data collected • Training may be conducted at a central location, or if the interviewers are geographically dispersed, through mail • Yet another option is to “train the trainer” • Training should cover the following issues

  6. Making Initial Contact • Could result in cooperation or loss of potential respondent • Do not use phrases like “Would you please spare a few minutes of your valuable time?” or “Would you like to answer a few questions, please?” • Instead use sentences like “Hello, my name is Haris and I am working for Oasis International. You are one of the randomly selected respondents in this survey. We highly value your opinion and would like to ask you a few questions. Your identity shall never be disclosed to any other party”

  7. Asking the Questions • Interviewers should be specifically told to ask only questions that appear in the questionnaire • They must also be trained to use the exact wordings of the questions • Interviewers must be told not to change the order of the questions • Interviewers must be trained to ask every applicable question, follow skip patterns and repeat questions when respondent appears not to have understood the question well • Interviewers must also be specifically trained to develop the skill of probing

  8. Probing • A motivational technique used when asking survey questions to induce the respondents to enlarge on, clarify, or explain their answers and to help the respondents to focus on the specific content of the interview • Interviewers should be told the difference between probing and prompting • Probing can be done by remaining silent to a reply giving the impression that interviewer is waiting for more elaborate response

  9. Probingcontd… • by repeating question • by repeating the respondent’s reply • By boosting the respondent • Eliciting clarification • Using objective/neutral questions

  10. Recording the Answers • Record responses during the interview • Use the respondent’s own words (verbatim) • Do not summarize or paraphrase the respondent’s answers • Include everything that pertains to the question objective • Include all probes and comments • Repeat the response as it is written down • Do not use acronyms that are only known to you instead use standard acronyms, such as AE for anything else; AE for anything else; etc.

  11. Terminating the Interview • The interview should not be closed before all the desired information is obtained • Any comments offered by the respondent after the close of the formal questionnaire should also be recorded • The respondent should be thanked for cooperation and left with a positive feeling • Give gift if it is available in the survey and inform the respondent of possible verification

  12. Supervision of Field Workers • To ensure that interviewers are following instructions they were given in the training • Supervision ensures control of researcher over the data collection process • Supervision includes the following:

  13. Quality Control and Editing • Quality control means checking that the interviewers are following prescribed procedures for the survey • Supervisor must interact with the interviewers to know about interviewer problems and on ground realities • In case the problem is beyond the domain of supervisor, he/she should immediately contact the central office for further advice • Supervisor must edit the questionnaires daily • Editing means completing the questionnaires in front of the interviewers by confirms illegible responses, unknown acronyms, confusing checks in fixed alternative questions, incomplete probing or any missed questions or demographic information

  14. Sampling Control • An aspect of supervision that ensures that interviewers strictly follow the sampling plan rather than select sampling unit based on convenience or accessibility

  15. Control of Cheating • Interviewers should be told in advance about validation of field work and handing over gifts to respondents where due • Proper training and counseling interviewers during editing of a questionnaire can minimize cheating • In case the company has some penalization policy about interviewers caught cheating, that should also be spelled out during the training session

  16. Control of Central Office • Supervisors provide quality and cost-control information to the central office so that a total progress report can be prepared • Central office controls include tabulation of quota variables, important demographic characteristics, and answers to key questions

  17. Validation of Fieldwork • Validation of fieldwork means verifying the information collected by interviewers through questionnaires • The validate the study, the supervisors verify 10 to 25 percent of the completed questionnaires • Typically supervisor about start and end times, quality of the interview, answers to key questions and open-ended questions, confirmation of demographic information and giving away gifts, if any

  18. Evaluation of Fieldwork • Supervisors evaluate fieldworkers usually on time taken to complete the interviews and cost incurred on completing an interview • Interviewers are also evaluated on the basis of response rate • Interviewers are also evaluated on quality of interview conducted • Interviewers are also evaluated on quality of data they have collected