Fieldwork in Zambia. Credit: Milagros Gismondi/Oxfam

What we’ve learnt about sharing real-time data

and

General, Real Geek, Research 0 Comments

At Oxfam we are continually developing our use of digital technology for surveys. Here Simone Lombardini and Emily Tomkys Valteri reflect on lessons learnt from the process of using and sharing real-time data during fieldwork to conduct Oxfam’s Effectiveness Reviews.

 Fieldwork in Zambia. Credit: Milagros Gismondi/Oxfam

Fieldwork in Zambia. Credit: Milagros Gismondi/Oxfam

In 2015 Oxfam’s Impact Evaluation Advisers started using digital devices to conduct household surveys for Oxfam’s Effectiveness Reviews (ex-post, quasi-experimental impact evaluations) – moving from primarily pen-and-paper interviewing to computer-assisted personal interviewing. Details of our experience in making this transition are shared in the discussion paper Going Digital: Using digital technology to conduct Oxfam’s Effectiveness Reviews.  One of our former Oxfam Evaluation Advisor’s also conducted a study comparing these two approaches.

Two years on, we have now conducted individual and household surveys using digital devices in more than 18 countries for the Effectiveness Reviews. At this year’s ICT4Eval conference, held in June in Rome and organised by IFAD’s Independent Evaluation Office, we shared three cases to help illustrate the benefits we’re seeing, and discuss some of challenges we faced and lessons we have learnt along the way.

In many of these data collection processes, we took advantage of features provided by digital devices to pilot solutions that would help to increase data quality, knowledge dissemination, participation and engagement. One of these features is the possibility to process data in real-time, while data collection is still underway.

Our experience is that using and sharing real-time data while fieldwork is still underway has the potential to increase engagement and community participation with survey respondents. It further supports knowledge sharing, and helps to enable greater integration between qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques for an evaluation prospective.

To find out more you can download our report on Using and sharing real-time data during fieldwork, or watch the conference presentation.

Author
Simone Lombardini

Simone Lombardini

Simone is a global impact evaluation adviser at Oxfam GB. He provides specialist advice on tools, methods and process for undertaking rigorous impact evaluation on Oxfam's projects. He is currently working on a range of focused evaluations of a random sample of Oxfam's projects in order to capture and communicate our effectiveness as an organisation and promote effective learning.

Author
Emily Tomkys Valteri

Emily Tomkys Valteri

Emily is ICT in Programme Officer at Oxfam GB. she supports staff with applications of ICTs within their work. She specialises in mobile data collection, and coordinating Oxfam's work on how ICTs can be used within monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL). Emily also co-organised the MERL Tech conference in London in 2017.