Survey Design for Quality Data – Part 2

Let’s pick up where we left off in Part 1 of our survey design for quality data series, which was inspired by Dobility founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Robert's presentation in the TechChange course “Technology for Data Collection and Survey Design.” Lesson 1 focused on designing your survey with empathy for field staff and respondents. Lesson 2 highlighted SurveyCTO tools for building in relevance and constraints. With Lesson 3, we’ll jump into a number of ways that SurveyCTO enables you to automate monitoring and workflow.

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Survey Design for Quality Data – Part 1

Last week, Dobility founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Robert presented on how to design surveys for quality data in the TechChange Course "Technology for Data Collection and Survey Design.” We thought it would be fun to share highlights from his talk with the larger community of mobile data collection users (while also showing off some of the cool ways that SurveyCTO can help you design smart surveys from day one).

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Quality data key to achieving global goals

There is a critical difference between data and quality data. In this new era of #2030NOW, we must push for more than numbers that fill spreadsheets; we must push for good, quality data that reflects the needs of all members of society—young and old. We need data that covers conflict-ridden areas, refugee camps, and remote, disconnected areas. Read how inclusive, high-quality data will be key to achieving the new Global Goals...

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Learning from SurveyCTO users

As SurveyCTO has grown, so has the range of projects for which the platform is being used to collect high-quality data, evaluate programs, and conduct research. Who is using SurveyCTO? And how have they leveraged the platform to get more accurate, real-time data? Below are a few case studies from our users...

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Real-time project monitoring and visualization

SurveyCTO allows you to publish incoming data directly from the server to Google Sheets (formerly known as Google Spreadsheets), so you can create dashboards that present up-to-the-minute summaries of your data. You can then use these dashboards to monitor the progress of your surveys, share real-time results with your team, and more. This post shares a simple example.

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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...

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Integrating with

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

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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...

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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.

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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...

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