The rapid growth of mobile phones in developing countries opens up new possibilities for data collection. Short message service (SMS), interactive voice response (IVR), online surveys (web) and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) can produce data faster and less expensively than face-to-face surveys. This course will introduce students to the design and implementation of SMS, IVR, Web, and CATI surveys in low- and middle-income countries.
In this course, Dr. Lau will draw from real world examples to illustrate how these modes work. We will also discuss basic survey design principles in each mode, focusing on sampling, questionnaire development, and survey design. New for this year’s course: Students will work in small groups to design questionnaires and collect data in real time via SMS and IVR using a free, open source survey tool.
There are no prerequisites for this course, but basic familiarity with survey research in developing countries is helpful.
Instructor: Charles Lau
Charles Lau designs and implements surveys in low- and middle-income countries. He directs projects through the survey cycle, including study design, questionnaire development, sampling, interviewer training, data collection, analysis, and reporting. Dr. Lau has led surveys in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In these countries, he has used different modes of data collection, including face-to-face interviewing with tablets, telephone, web, and short message service (SMS). With funding from governments, foundations, and commercial clients, his work has covered various topics including health, education, politics, and technology. He also publishes research on cross-cultural issues in survey design, interviewer and mode effects, and sampling approaches in developing countries. Dr. Lau joined RTI in 2010.