Electronic data collection in a multi-site population-based survey: EN-INDEPTH study

Sanne M. Thysen, Charlotte Tawiah, Hannah Blencowe, Grace Manu, Joseph Akuze, M. Moinuddin Haider, Nurul Alam, Temesgen Azemeraw Yitayew, Angela Baschieri, Gashaw Andargie Biks, Francis Dzabeng, Ane B. Fisker, Md Ali Imam, Justiniano S.D. Martins, Davis Natukwatsa, Joy E. Lawn, Vladimir Sergeevich Gordeev, the Every Newborn-INDEPTH Study Collaborative Group, Sanne M. Thysen (Medlem af forfattergruppering)

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Background: Electronic data collection is increasingly used for household surveys, but factors influencing design and implementation have not been widely studied. The Every Newborn-INDEPTH (EN-INDEPTH) study was a multi-site survey using electronic data collection in five INDEPTH health and demographic surveillance system sites. Methods: We described experiences and learning involved in the design and implementation of the EN-INDEPTH survey, and undertook six focus group discussions with field and research team to explore their experiences. Thematic analyses were conducted in NVivo12 using an iterative process guided by a priori themes. Results: Five steps of the process of selecting, adapting and implementing electronic data collection in the EN-INDEPTH study are described. Firstly, we reviewed possible electronic data collection platforms, and selected the World Bank’s Survey Solutions® as the most suited for the EN-INDEPTH study. Secondly, the survey questionnaire was coded and translated into local languages, and further context-specific adaptations were made. Thirdly, data collectors were selected and trained using standardised manual. Training varied between 4.5 and 10 days. Fourthly, instruments were piloted in the field and the questionnaires finalised. During data collection, data collectors appreciated the built-in skip patterns and error messages. Internet connection unreliability was a challenge, especially for data synchronisation. For the fifth and final step, data management and analyses, it was considered that data quality was higher and less time was spent on data cleaning. The possibility to use paradata to analyse survey timing and corrections was valued. Synchronisation and data transfer should be given special consideration. Conclusion: We synthesised experiences using electronic data collection in a multi-site household survey, including perceived advantages and challenges. Our recommendations for others considering electronic data collection include ensuring adaptations of tools to local context, piloting/refining the questionnaire in one site first, buying power banks to mitigate against power interruption and paying attention to issues such as GPS tracking and synchronisation, particularly in settings with poor internet connectivity.

TidsskriftPopulation Health Metrics
Udgave nummerSuppl 1
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 8. feb. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The EN-INDEPTH study (including publication costs) was funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) by means of a grant to LSHTM (PI Joy E. Lawn), and a sub-award to the INDEPTH MNCH working group with technical leadership by Makerere School of Public Health (PI Peter Waiswa).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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