Meet the team: Vikas Arora on quality data and public health in India

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague, Vikas Arora, who has over a decade of experience in the public health sector. Prior to joining Dobility India, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry, taught public health courses at university, and managed mHealth projects in rural areas. I asked Vikas about his work and the opportunities he see to further engage public health researchers in India.

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Studying Quality of Life in India with 4th Wheel Social Impact

We recently connected with Sharon Weir, the co-founder of 4th Wheel Social Impact (4WSI), about how SurveyCTO aligns with their work improving the way social programs in India are conceptualized, implemented, monitored, and evaluated. She shared details of a recent project in Bangalore that is assessing the impact of life skills program for local youth and why digital data collection is great for researchers AND respondents.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Data Security (Today!) for Digital Data Collection

Close your eyes and imagine you’re being interviewed about your sexual behaviors, your finances, and your health conditions – and then asked the same questions about each member of your family. The person speaking with you has taken photos of you, your children, and your home, and they captured your GPS coordinates within one meter of accuracy. You’ve trusted a stranger with incredibly personal and easily identifiable information. But what steps are they taking to keep your data secure and your family safe?

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Expert advice from Faizan Diwan on M&E and digital data collection

We recently interviewed Faizan Diwan, who many of you may know from his work with SurveyCTO. Prior to joining the Dobility team, he spent several years as a Research Manager for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Kenya, where he led multiple large-scale impact evaluations spanning finance, labor, agriculture, and public health, managed the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, and helped lead IPA Kenya’s efforts to shift from paper-based to tablet-based surveys. We asked him about digital data collection and his advice for others.

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The Data Explorer is here!

We are beyond excited to share the new Data Explorer exclusively with SurveyCTO users. Not only that, it's FREE and INCLUDED with every subscription tier... at least for now. The Data Explorer enables you to view encrypted data in the browser with your own 2048-bit encryption keys, visualize data in an integrated system that detects the data types of their fields and how they should be labeled, and catch data-quality issues from the first day of data-collection.

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So you’ve decided to go digital… now what?

So you’ve decided to go digital for your next data collection project. Great decision! Perhaps you were persuaded by some of the benefits of going digital including lower cost, higher-quality data, and more immediate access to your data. Or perhaps you’re just tired of printing pages and pages of paper forms, dragging them around, keeping them organized, and spending hours and hours entering the data you collected by hand. Whatever your reasons, we’re here to help ensure that your first digital data collection project is a success.

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Considerations when working with service providers

Many organizations work with service providers and local survey firms to implement their research projects. But how do you ensure data quality, data security, and timely – even immediate – access to your data? If you work with service providers or survey firms, you can demand that they use a data collection technology like SurveyCTO and set up simple yet powerful systems for quality control and real-time monitoring.

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Considerations for service providers

When you use SurveyCTO for your data collection, you collect better data, your data is more secure, and your turn-around time is faster. As a service provider or survey firm, you may have encountered prospective or current clients who wanted to learn more about the opportunities afforded by digital data collection. To help you make the case for digital data collection, we've created the resources below from the perspective of a service provider. Feel free to adapt these materials when discussing SurveyCTO with your clients.

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Running lab-in-the-field experiments in Haiti

What are the advantages - and challenges - of running an experiment in the field rather than in a lab? We recently caught up with long-time SurveyCTO user Abbie Turiansky about her research, specifically the lab-in-the-field experiments she has run in Haiti. Abbie is a PhD candidate at UC Davis in the Agricultural and Resource Economics department, focusing on social behavior related to the provision and management of public goods and common-pool resources.

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