Survey Solutions is a free computer-assisted personal interviewing software developed by the Development Research Group of the World Bank in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The goal of “Survey Solutions” is to build capacity in developing countries by providing national statistical agencies and other institutions involved in data collection with cost-effective and sustainable solution for conducting complex and large-scale surveys with minimal or no technical assistance.
World Bank held a seminar today, featuring Mr. Michael Lokshin, Manager for Computational Tools in the Development Research Group, to introduce this software to Japanese development experts in agencies, academia and the private sector, to enhance collaboration by using it for conducting surveys in developing countries.
Mr. Yasusuke Tsukagoshi, World Bank Group’s Special Representative, Japan, opened the seminar by welcoming the participants as the first group of guests to the newly renovated Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) after its intensive technical upgrading. The TDLC, which was established a decade ago as a joint program between the Government of Japan and the World Bank, is now entering its third phase under the same auspices. Key features of the third phase will include broadened geographic coverage, closer links to operational programs on the ground, and sharing not only knowledge but also “solutions” to various development challenges in ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity while protecting the planet.
Mr. Lokshin delivered a presentation on “Survey Solutions”, followed by active Q&A session. The software combines powerful functionality for data capturing on tablets with tools for survey management and cloud data aggregation. This technology reduces the time lag between data collection and data analysis, dramatically improves data quality and cuts survey costs. The ability to register GPS coordinates and data obtained from sensors, time stamps, make audio and video recording in combination with data collected during the standard household surveys opens up possibilities of tackling new, policy relevant questions. Survey Solutions also collects massive amount of auxiliary data on the interview process (Para Data): time spent on each questions, changes in the interview assignments, verification logs, etc. This information can dramatically improve the quality of the data by introducing Responsive Survey Design and Adaptive Survey Design techniques.
“Survey Solutions” was used in more than 50 surveys in 32 countries around the world proving itself as a robust instrument for survey data collection in war-torn South Sudan, remote areas of Pakistan, and Niger. In May 2015, a nationally representative Wealth and Health survey of 50,000 households with 1,200 interviewers was completed by Thailand NSO; a multi-topic integrated Zambia Living Condition Monitoring Survey was successfully administered to 12,600 households, several surveys are in the field in countries of Africa, South and East Asia and Latin America.
Survey Solutions: Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (PDF)
Michael Lokshin, Manager for Computational Tools, Development Research Group, DEC, World Bank
Michael Lokshin received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999 after which he joined the research group at the World Bank as a Young Economist (YE program). His research focuses on the areas of poverty and inequality measurement, labor economics, and applied econometrics. More recently he has been involved in the Bank's efforts to develop the methodology of evaluating the effect of crisis and public policies on households in developing countries. He also leads the group of researchers in development of the Software Platform for Automated Economic Analysis (ADePT).