Africa Research Network: effective field data collection

Africa Research Network: effective field data collection

In the world of aid and development, reliable data is essential for making informed decisions and tracking progress towards goals. However, collecting quality data in the field can be a challenging task. It requires knowledgeable and experienced people who can navigate cultural nuances and understand local contexts, as well as reliable tools and effective strategies for data collection and management.

That's where the Africa Research Network comes in. Our service offers both the people and the tools for collecting data in the field, empowering development organizations to keep as much of their research in-house as possible while still ensuring data quality. Here's how we can help:

Field Researcher Selection and Monitoring

We understand the importance of selecting the right field researchers for your project or program. That's why we offer a comprehensive selection process that includes vetting, training, and deployment of field staff. We can also implement monitoring and evaluation to ensure that your projects and programs are meeting their goals and objectives.

The success of mobile field data collection exercises also depends on a well-prepared deployment plan and supporting logistics. Arrangements for field deployment of enumerators and logistics depends on the project scale and geographical distribution.

Data Collection Strategy and Training

Our team of local, knowledgeable professionals has the language skills, cultural understanding, and contacts to effectively collect data in the field. We provide both the people and the tools necessary for successful data collection, including mobile data collection devices, questionnaires, and other necessary materials. We can also help with the logistics of data collection, including transportation and accommodation.

We can perform a range of tasks for your project, including vetting and selecting, hiring, training, deploying and monitoring enumerators for data collection... and thus help you ensure data quality

Enumerators are given research tools such as an interview guide, questionnaire or household survey and asked to collect information in a specific location or area from a certain number of individuals or households or groups. This may be necessary for one or both of the following reasons:

  • the quantity of data required – most research projects (including evaluations) usually survey hundreds of households or people;
  • the type of data required – many research and evaluation projects rely on the local understanding of someone familiar with a given context to collect meaningful information, requiring, for example, specific linguistic, social and cultural attributes.

A well-prepared deployment plan and well-trained field staff are essential for successful mobile field data collection exercises. Our team can help with the development of a data collection strategy tailored to your specific project or program, as well as the training of field staff in data collection techniques and protocols.

Field staff training is a crucial element of collecting high quality data. Regardless of how well designed a data collection instrument and software application is, the quality of data collected depends ultimately on the data collection skills of the enumerators who conduct the interviews, as well as enumeration supervisors. Thorough training ensures that:

  • Enumerators fully understand the objectives of the data collection exercise
  • Enumerators are familiar with the data collection tools and its logic
  • Enumerators are confidentially familiar with the data collection device and application
  • Enumerators are effective interviewers and can administer the interviews easily, accurately and consistently.
  • Enumerators are effective and accurate note takers

We understand the importance of reliable data for effective aid and development. Our service offers a comprehensive solution for collecting quality data in the field, empowering development organizations to make informed decisions and track progress towards their goals.

Contact us on how we can help you with your data collection needs.