Data Collection Notes
Candidates for the positions of interviewer and field editor were identified in two ways. First, advertisements in newspapers attracted a number of applicants. Second, the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) nominated a number of its female personnel, who were working to fulfill the mandatory one year period of governmental service for university graduates. All candidates for the field staff positions were interviewed, and only those who were qualified were accepted in the training program.
All candidates for the interviewer and field editor positions were recent university graduates. Another basic qualification was a willingness to work in any of the governorates covered in the survey. With few exceptions, interviewers who had previous experience in surveys were not accepted in the training program. This decision was taken to reduce any bias that might result from their previous experience and to ensure that all trainees had a similar background. However, previous survey experience was a basic qualification for the candidates for the positions of supervisor and assistant supervisor.
A variety of materials were developed for use in training personnel involved in the fieldwork. A lengthy interviewer's manual giving general guidelines to follow in conducting an interview, as well as specific instructions for asking particular questions in the questionnaire, was prepared and given to all field staff. In addition, a chart to convert months from the Islamic calendar to the Gregorian calendar was designed for the 74 months before the EDHS and distributed to all field workers.
Other training materials included special manuals describing the duties of the team supervisors and the rules for field editing. Instructions regarding the anthropometric data collection were included in a manual that was made available to the interviewers who were trained as measurers and team supervisors.
Supervisor and Interviewer Training
Interviewer training for the 1992-1993 EDHS data collection began in the first week of October 1992. Seventeen supervisors, 14 assistant supervisors, plus 97 interviewers participated in the training program. A special training program for supervisors and assistant supervisors was conducted during a three-day period prior to the main fieldwork training. This training focused specifically on the supervisor's duties, but also covered the questionnaire in order to give supervisors a head start prior to the main training program.
The training program, which was held in Cairo for four weeks, included:
- general lectures related to family planning and public health;
- specific sessions with visual aids on how to fill out the questionnaire;
- opportunities for role playing and mock interviews;
- four days of field practice in areas not covered in the survey; and
- five quizzes.
Trainees who failed to show interest in the survey, did not attend the training program on a regular basis, or failed the first three tests were disqualified immediately. The training was originally planned for three weeks, but because of disruptions due to the October 12 earthquake, the training program was extended for an additional week.
At the beginning of the third week of the training, a preliminary list was compiled of the 20 trainees who had performed best during both the classroom and field exercises. Those trainees were further examined in order to select 12 field editors. A special training session was held for the field editors following their selection.
About 45 trainees plus all assistant supervisors were selected tot anthropometric training. This training included both classroom lectures and practice measurement in a nursery school. At the end of the program, the 36 best trainees were selected to serve as measurers during the EDHS fieldwork. At the end of the training course, 63 of the 97 candidates originally recruited for the interviewer training were selected to work as field editors, interviewers and measure~ in the EDHS fieldwork.
Fieldwork: Fieldwork for the survey including initial interviews, callbacks, and re-interviews began on November 7, 1992 and was completed on February 8, 1993. A total of 91 staff, including one fieldwork coordinator, one assistant fieldwork coordinator, 13 supervisors, 13 assistant supervisors, 12 field editors and 51 interviewers were responsible for the data collection. All supervisors and assistant supervisors were male, while field editors and interviewers were female.
The field staff was divided into 12 teams; each team had a supervisor, assistant supervisor, a field editor and four or five interviewers. Usually two of the interviewers in the team and the field editor plus the assistant supervisor were specially trained to collect the height and weight measurements. During the fieldwork, each team worked in two governorates, except Cairo and lsmailia.
At the beginning of the fieldwork, visits were made to all of the areas in which earthquake damage had occurred in order to check and, if necessary, update the original household listings. Listings were checked in Cairo, Giza, Kalyubia, Fayoum, Menya, Beni Suef and Ismailia. Only a few segments had experienced significant damage, and, even in those segments, 70 percent or more of tile households listed initially were found at their original addresses. Thus, the earthquake did not adversely affect the EDHS sample.
After the initial fieldwork was completed, random sample of up to 10 percent of the interviews were re-interviewed as a quality control measure. In the re-interview, a shorter version of the questionnaires was used. Household and individual questionnaires which were incomplete or had errors that could not be corrected in the office were also assigned for callbacks. Special teams were organized to handle callbacks and re-interviews. During the re-interview and callback phase of the survey, interviewers were not allowed to work in the governorates in which they had participated in the initial fieldwork.