Data Collection Notes
----> A. Field visit schedule
A time schedule was prepared to follow up on the recording of the daily household expenditures and to ensure accurate completion of the five-part questionnaire. Seven field visits were scheduled for each household. The schedule covered all tasks—from the first visit, when the daily expenditure diary was handed over to the household, to recovering the diary on the final visit.The interviewers delivered their finished questionnaires to the data entry operators for processing. When errors, gaps, or inconsistencies emerged, the data entry operators issued rejection reports. Interviewers would then revisit the households according to the schedule.
A more detailed description on the schedule of visits for collecting, entering, and correcting data is provided in the tabulaion report document available among external resources in English.
----> B. Wave timetable
The survey was in the field from October 30, 2006, through November 8, 2007. Each interviewer worked 360 days. The first interviewer began on October 30, 2006, and ended on October 24, 2007. The third interviewer began on November 14, 2006, and ended on November 8, 2007. The end of the survey corresponded to completion of the third interviewer’s work.
An 18-wave timetable was prepared for the interviewer teams.
----> C. Training
The training of the main trainers was carried out in three phases. The first phase was carried out in Beirut in June 2006, including seven days of theoretical training. The second phase was implemented in Iraq. Trainees received applied training, with each trainee filling out all parts of the survey questionnaire for two randomly selected households. The third phase was implemented in Amman in July 2006. The main trainer teams were represented by the regional and governorate coordinators. They discussed the key challenges to be encountered in taking the questionnaire to the field, as well as the training of trainers who would then instruct the fieldworkers.
In September 2006, nine centers were opened across Iraq to train local supervisors, field interviewers, and data entry operators. The training, which was specifically designed and highly tailored to the circumstances of Iraq, continued for 23 days. Trainees received theoretical and applied lessons in data collection and data entry. Questionnaires completed during the training were used to test the data entry program.
Training centers were opened in Sulaimaniya, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninevah, Baghdad (two centers), Al-Najaf, Al-Qadisiya, and Thi Qar. Altogether, 168 interviewers, 56 local supervisors, 56 data entry operators, and 18 governorate secretaries were trained. A number of staff from the statistics offices in the governorates were also trained (three from each governorate, five from Baghdad) as well as alternate field staff to cover emergencies and dropouts.
----> D. Decentralized data entry, field follow-up, and supervision forms
Fieldwork consisted of seven visits to each of nearly 18,000 households during 18 waves lasting 20 days each over 12 months. Given the breadth and complexity of this undertaking, a solid and continuous follow-up system was essential.
As soon as Part 1 of the questionnaire was completed and checked by a supervisor, it was handed off to the team’s data entry operator. The data entry operator entered the collected information and produced an approval/rejection report flagging anomalies. Reports were returned for follow-up and necessary corrections while the interviewers were still in the field working on Part 2 of the questionnaire. The completed Part 2 and corrected Part 1 was then returned to the data entry staff, with further rejection reports and follow-up as needed. This cycle was continuous for all parts of the survey.
The IHSES Core Team responsible for fieldwork supervision worked closely with World Bank technical consultants. Careful and continuous attention was paid to ensuring highly accurate indicators. When mistakes were detected, corrective measures were drafted and circulated to each governorate. To facilitate field follow-up, office review and data processing were decentralized to the governorate centers so that many potential mistakes were avoided during each wave cycle.
IHSES follow-up in the field was systematic but flexible, depending on the evidence provided by the following evaluation forms (Annex 5):
• Form 1. Office check of the questionnaires
• Form 2. Interviewer’s performance
• Form 3. Reinterview
• Form 4. Governorate coordinator
• Form 5. Regional supervisor’s regional control and checking form
• Form 6. Operations room assessment of the work performed in the governorates
In a nutshell, the IHSES collected data during a 12-month period, using 56 field teams distributed through all 18 Iraqi governorates. Each team consisted of one local supervisor, three interviewers and one data entry operator - the latter being responsible of data entry at the governorate office (see "Data Processing" field.) The 12 months of fieldwork were divided into 18 "waves" of 20 or 21 days each. Each field team was responsible for completing three clusters during one wave. As in each cluster 6 households were selected (see "Sampling" field,) the three interviewers of a team completed 18 households in 20-21 days.
Information on food purchases was recorded on a diary during 10 days in each household. During this period interviewers had to visit each household at least 7 times, to make sure that this diary was being properly recorded. During some of those visits, they administered other parts of the questionnaire in independent booklets called "forms." Data entry of the forms started a few days after the first visit to the household, and printouts with the inconsistencies found by the data entry program were sent back to the field teams, who corrected the inconsistencies during the following visits.
A pilot survey was carried out before the beginning of fieldwork to identify and solve operational hurdles.
For security reasons, some clusters in some governorates could not be visited when planned. Besides this, in parts of Kurdistan the fieldwork started with some delay. For those reasons, the fieldwork on those particular areas was expanded for 2 extra waves (19 and 20.)
After the end of each wave, the field teams transferred the datasets to the Data Manager at the survey's Operation Room. The decentralization of data entry and the integration of computer-based quality control to fieldwork allowed the Operations Room in Baghdad to assess and monitor the action of the field teams directly, without any need of intermediate management levels. Government coordinators and central supervisors were used, however, to facilitate logistics and finance.