This blog was first published on World Bank Blogs and is published here with their permission.
Photo credits: Sai Kiran Anangani on Unsplash
The global pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in remote data collection, and lots of learning-by-doing and innovation on how to conduct high-quality surveys remotely. One particularly challenging aspect of remote data collection is training enumerators remotely.
The World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) Department recently hosted a Panel Discussion, Tips and Tricks for Remotely Training Enumerators, to understand how organizations leading remote data collection have adapted to training enumerators remotely. The dynamic panel, consisting of Mitali Mathur from IDInsight, Rosemarie Sandino & Ishmail Azindoo Baako from Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA), Akuffo Amankwah from World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study, and Amrik Cooper from SurveyCTO, covered challenges faced, lessons learned, and effective strategies for training enumerators remotely. We summarize the key points below; you can find the video of the full panel discussion here.
Pre-existing best practices for in-person training nearly all apply to remote training as well. These include: over-recruiting enumerators, assessing participants carefully and retaining only the best performers, planning interactive trainings, and having a low instructor-to-participant ratio. We highlight the key differences below, with the key takeaway being – do everything possible to limit the amount of time participants are just staring at the screen!
Basic videoconferencing technology is required to deliver trainings remotely. Using innovative features and combining software can help make trainings more interactive and increase understanding.
The key challenges include limited internet connectivity, lack of in-person interaction, and data security concerns. While it’s important to plan ahead, be prepared to dynamically adapt the training based on real-time feedback and unanticipated challenges.
The panel highlighted that in-person trainings are hard to replace, but with the above adjustments and innovations remote trainings can be successful. All panelists agreed that they will revert to in-person trainings as and when possible, but some of the lessons learned through remote trainings will be adapted to in-person trainings. These include making all sessions more interactive, sharing materials with enumerators in advance, and conducting some parts of the training remotely (allowing more facilitators to participate whilst reducing travel). Despite the many challenges, all panelists were optimistic that the remote training experience will help make future in-person trainings better.
This panel was part of the Manage Successful Impact Evaluation Surveys course, hosted by DIME Analytics. All course materials are publicly available.
Learn more about remote trainings and remote data collection with these resources suggested by the panelists:
1 March 2019
7 March 2019
2 April 2019
1 May 2019