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The power of the interviewer

Randall, Sara, Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X, Compaore, Natacha and Wandera, Stephen Ojiambo (2011) The power of the interviewer. In: Sixth African Population Conference: African Population: Past, Present and Future, 2011-12-05 - 2011-12-09, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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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:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 15:16
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 09:51
Projects: Harmonised households : the implications of standardised data tools for understanding intergenerational relations
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, ANR

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