Blog

Electronic vs. paper-based data collection

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI or just “electronic”) and Paper and Pencil Interviewing (PAPI or just “paper-based”) are two different methods of conducting surveys and collecting data more generally. PAPI is the traditional method in which an enumerator fills in a paper form or questionnaire. CAPI is the newer method, gaining in popularity, where the enumerator uses a tablet, smartphone, or laptop computer to move through the interview and record responses…

v1.40 out, with freedom to revise and publish at will

The theme of our v1.40 release is freedom, because our development focus was on the removal of limitations. There’s nothing too flashy or sexy about it – we’re leaving that for our 2.0 release (which is already in development) – but we expect that the greater freedoms in v1.40 will lead to significant, potentially-dramatic quality-of-life improvements for many of our users…

Integrating with SalesForce.com

The folks at open[Fn] have just released a SalesForce.com integration for SurveyCTO and other ODK-based systems, and we’re very excited to have this new option available to our users. (SalesForce.com is a ridiculously powerful cloud platform that can be used for data monitoring, visualization, and management, priced at extremely steep discounts for nonprofits.) …

Considerations for institutional review boards

If you sit on an institutional review board (IRB) or other research ethics committee, you need to know how to assess projects that use electronic forms of data collection. Rest assured that data confidentiality with electronic data collection can actually be substantially safer than paper… if handled properly. This post discusses a series of questions that a research ethics committee should ask of projects employing electronic data collection…

Considerations for students

Graduate students have more to think about when it comes to electronic data collection. As students, timelines and budgets are tight, especially for those collecting data abroad. There are three short months in the summer to land in-country and collect data before returning to campus. And there’s likely little room for error with the budget. Luckily, with some planning and preparation, electronic data collection can maximize results within these constraints.

On SurveyCTO: An open letter

It started as a modest experiment in electronic data collection embedded within a much more ambitious experiment involving microfinance in rural India. Today, SurveyCTO has grown into a mature technology platform used to collect data in hundreds of projects around the world. This inaugural blog post seems like a good time to look briefly back, and then forward to where SurveyCTO is headed…