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Interviewer entered the data in the field at the time of the interview using CAPI software programs, installed on small notebook computer with ten-inch screens and long life batteries. The computers performed well, and proved easy to transport, use and recharge despite some difficult conditions;
A 3G modem connected to the computers was used by the field supervisors to transfer the data files to the central processing operation at the INE HQ. The HQ operation group received the data as an email attachment. In places where the technology 3G was available the process went very well, however, where there was no 3G service, the data transmission had to be delayed until the interviewers re-entered the service area.
Use of Technology for field data capture and compilation, and the implications
Regional Workshop for Monitoring the SDGs related to the
Food and Agriculture Sector and on the WCA 2020
Nadi, Fiji 6-10 November 2017
Use of Technology for field data
capture and compilation
Technical session 17b
Leader, Agricultural Census and Survey Team
FAO Statistics Division
Overview of CAPI: description,
advantages, disadvantages, products on
Overview of Survey Solutions features
Country examples: Estonia and Latvia
• Remote sensing (RS) and aerial/ortho-photos: RS and aerial photos
can be used for (i) cartography and frame building, (ii) supporting field
work, (iii) crop estimation.
• Handheld GPS devices: supports field activities such as geo-referencing
plots, holding location, or measuring plot areas.
• Mobile data collection: Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI)
using smartphones, tablets).
• Remote data collection: Use of telephone and computers, such as
Computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) and internet such as
Computer assisted Self Interview (CASI or CAWI).
• Online dissemination of results: web pages, social media and other
electronic methods. Infographics and thematic GIS maps enhance
readability and comprehensibility of census results.
• Anonymization of micro-data: protocols, methods and tools available
for safe microdata access. New opportunities for census dissemination.
• Archiving: electronic preservation of census data.
Examples of use of technology in the census
Computer Assisted Personal Interview
(CAPI) software allows recording
responses on a computer or tablet instead
What is CAPI?
• Easier Survey Management
• Reduced variables costs
(No transport costs, no storage costs, no printing costs, no
• Reduced time from data collection to analysis
• Higher quality data
(Enforced skip patterns, validation conditions, look-up
What are the advantages of CAPI?
Novel question types
Geo reference, photos, barcodes scanning (for national IDs)
Closer field monitoring
Export paradata for monitoring activities during
interviews (e.g. start & end time)
Almost real time export of microdata
Easier to implement changes to questionnaire
No need to send questionnaires back and forth to field
What are the advantages of CAPI?
High fixed cost
Can be reduced by sharing use with other
Requires more preparation time - programming
and testing questionnaire, procurement
Time savings on back-end from no data entry
Many times requires connectivity
Risks can be reduced by using 2 sim cards,
back-up paper questionnaires, etc.
Others: vulnerability to weather, batteries and
access to power for charging
What are disadvantages of CAPI?
Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro) Developed
by the US census bureau and funded primarily by USAID.
Widely used, but lacks survey management tools and requires
programming knowledge. FREE + programming costs
Open Data Kit (ODK): Core developers at UoW – Dpt. Of
Computer Science. Open-sourced, funded partially through
donations of users. FREE+ programming costs
My Survey Solutions: Development supported by the Worl
Bank GS, and first version released in 09.2013. Closed
source, but integrates data management tools, and requires
little to no knowledge of programming. FREE
• Global Strategy has implemented small
sample surveys in Tanzania, Indonesia,
• World Bank in partnership w/ NSOs have
implemented surveys reaching 200K
respondents in Malawi, 400K in Uganda,
and 2.7 million in South Africa.
FAO and Survey Solutions
User friendly survey management system
built right into the software.
Survey designer that requires no
Cloud based data storage and transfer
Geo references questions (holding location)
Can accommodate any type of question
User-friendly Android application for data
Survey Solutions Features
Documentation on every part of the system
E-learning course available online (13
Data export available in SPSS and STATA
DDI compliant metadata automatically
Automatic paradata tabulation for field
*DDI: Data Documentation Initiative, an int’l standard for describing statistical data
Survey Solutions Features (cont’d)
• For the Agricultural Census 2010/2011, Australia
Bureau of Statistics (ABS) used CASI.
• The agricultural business were contacted by ABS by
the postal service (mail) which included a paper form
that they could complete and return to ABS, as well as
details that enabled an alternate mode of response to be
provided (for the first time for an Agricultural Census)
via an electronic form.
•The majority of business responded by mail (88%)
Australia - Agricultural Census 2010/2011
Country experiences on use of CAPI,
CATI, CASI and GPS technologies in
Year of census
Estonia 2010 CAPI, CASI
France 2010 CAPI
Latvia 2010 CAPI, CATI,CASI,
Malta 2010 CAPI
Poland 2010 CAPI, CATI,CASI
Slovenia 2010 CAPI, CATI
Lithuania 2010 CASI
Netherlands 2010 CASI
Iceland 2010 CASI
Austria 2010 CASI
Finland 2010 CASI
Sweden 2010 CASI, CATI
Mozambique 2009/2010 CAPI, GPS
Venezuela 2008 CAPI, GPS
Argentina 2008 CAPI
Colombia 2014 CAPI
Brazil 2006 CAPI
Mexico 2007 CAPI
Canada 2011 CASI
Uruguay 2011 GPS
USA 2012 CASI
Australia 2011 CASI
Jordan 2007 CAPI
Thailand 2013 CAPI
Countries are increasingly
using IT technology in
agricultural censuses for:
data collection (CAPI,
identification of location
for field operation of
online monitoring of the
progress in field
operations in real time.