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The power of the interviewer

Randall, Sara, Coast, Ernestina, Compaore, Natacha and Wandera, Stephen Ojiambo (2011) The power of the interviewer. In: Sixth African Population Conference, 5-9 December 2011, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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Abstract

African censuses and surveys remain dependent on interviewers for data collection with data quality assured through training and supervision. Many survey concepts and definitions are difficult to translate into African languages and some, such as the household, may have multiple criteria (sleeping, eating together and recognising an authority) which may not be fulfilled by everyone leading interviewers to prioritise different criteria. Some questions introduce unfamiliar ideas which may require considerable explanation by interviewers in order to obtain acceptable answers. Using published definitions, enumerator manuals and qualitative interview data with interviewers, supervisors, trainers, survey organisers and analysts in Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Burkina, we identify key areas where interviewer judgement plays a significant role in determining who is included or excluded from household surveys, or in shaping responses to certain questions. Interviewers take their responsibilities seriously but their preconceptions and interpretations have consequences for data reliability and harmonisation goals.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL: http://uaps2011.princeton.edu/
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, ANR
Projects: Harmonised households : the implications of standardised data tools for understanding intergenerational relations
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 15:16
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/42038/

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