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Rapid remote data collection: How we’re maximizing impact with phone surveys

3 April 2020

The Data on Demand team at IDinsight is making it easy to access high-quality and low-cost data, especially from hard-to-reach, low-income populations. Phone-based surveys provide a huge opportunity to make data collection faster, more efficient, and cost-effective.

With the COVID-19 crisis preventing in-person data collection in many countries, phone surveys are more vital than ever to collect actionable data for policymakers to make life-saving decisions. Many of IDinsight’s surveys, on topics from maternal health to financial inclusion, will be conducted by phone for the next few months. We also launched surveys to inform policymakers’ COVID-19 response last week and will iterate on this approach to use phone surveys at an even larger scale.

We realize other research organizations are making this shift, and hope what we learned to date can be helpful to anyone who wants to collect quick, low-cost, and high-quality data for the governments and organizations that need it most. To read more about how we refined our methodology, take a look at our blog posts “3 steps to designing an effective phone survey” and “How to identify the best length and time for a phone survey.”

Our phone survey research helped us identify the optimal timing, frequency, and duration of calls increasing our respondent reach from 26 percent to 80 percent.

Through years of systematic design testing, our Data on Demand initiative has optimized remote practices for every stage of data collection and processing. To support COVID-19 response and also account for interrupted survey efforts, we are offering our remote / mobile phone-based data collection capabilities as a standalone service. 

We ensure these services are:

Safe – Data agents work remotely with no risk of travel or physical interaction.

Efficient – Surveys can be deployed in less than a week.

High quality – Surveys are optimized for the best data quality and quality control.

Transparent – Every remote data collection exercise pro-actively discloses any possible threats to data quality.

To read more about our remote data collection services click here.

For practitioners: Read about how we developed our approach and how to identify the best length and time of day to do a phone survey.