Quantitative research focuses on collecting numerical data or data that can be conceptualized on a numeric scale. Researchers in agriculture, food systems, nutrition, and health use a variety of methods and tools for collecting quantitative data. Below you will find resources and guidance for various approaches to quantitative data collection.
Survey data collection
- Choosing a data collection method for survey research: This fact sheet from Rutgers University discusses different modes of survey data collection.
- Conducting tablet-based field data collection with Survey Solutions: This handbook from FAO provides instruction on how to collect field surveys using Survey Solutions, a free tablet-based data collection software.
- Field surveys: This web page from the World Bank DIME provides guidance for collecting primary data through field surveys, including how to prepare for and launch surveys. DIME also provides more detailed information on preparing for field surveys.
- Good practice in the conduct and reporting of survey research: This article, aimed at novice researchers, includes an overview and step-by-step guide to survey research.
- IHSN guidelines: This website from the International Household Survey Network provides guidance and links to resources about survey research, including designing surveys, budgeting, implementation, and dissemination of results.
- Planning survey research: This guidance document from OXFAM provides an overview of planning survey research, including sampling, questionnaire design, data collection, and data analysis.
- Primary data collection: This web page from the World Bank DIME provides an overview of the process of developing, piloting, and carrying out survey data collection.
- Survey programming: This website from J-PAL outlines best practices for programming surveys using computer assisted personal interview (CAPI) software. You can find more information about CAPI in this World Bank DIME website.
- Understanding and evaluating survey research: This article critically examines survey research, with sections focusing on sampling and data collection.
SCANR tip: "Field research" or "field surveys" refer to research done in a natural setting, such as a survey of participants living in a community of interest. In contrast, lab research is conducted in a controlled environment.
- Best practices for quality anthropometric data collection at the DHS program: This guide from the USAID DHS program explains best practices for collection of anthropometric data, including sampling, equipment, team composition, field worker training, standardization, supervision, quality assurance, and dissemination.
- DAPA measurement toolkit: This toolkit from the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre introduces the types of anthropometric measurements and describes related indices and methods.
- FANTA guide to anthropometry: This guide from USAID's FANTA project explains anthropometric measurements and indices, as well as the nutrition conditions typically assessed in different demographic groups. The guide also discusses how to interpret anthropometric data and offers guidance for selecting equipment and taking measurements in low-resources settings.
- Lab in the field: measuring preferences in the wild: This book from J-PAL summarizes lab-in-the-field methodologies and gives guidance for conducting experiments.
- Lab-in-the-field experiments: perspectives from research on gender: This article highlights contributions made by lab-in-the-field experiments to gender research and discusses how to conducts these experiments.
- Treating the field as a lab: This online book is a technical guide to lab in the field experiments, including basic principles and applications in the literature.
Special topic: time use
Measuring how people allocate their time can be very challenging. Below are some resources on how to measure time use. Are there other special topics in data collection that you would like SCANR to explore? Post in our Forum or email [email protected].
- A short history of time use research; implications for public health: This article reviews the history of time use research, common survey methods for measuring time use, and potential uses of time use data for public health.
- Collecting time use data: accelerometers or survey methods? This blog from the CGIAR compares the use of 24-hour recall surveys to accelerometers for measuring time use.
- Counting the hours: the challenges of measuring time use: This blog from the CGIAR summarizes current survey methods used to measure time use and challenges of measuring time use.
- Guide to producing statistics on time use: measuring paid and unpaid work: This guide from the UN discusses standards and methods approved by the UN Statistical Commission to assist national statistical authorities and other producers of statistics in the collection of time use data.
- How to strengthen the usefulness of time use surveys for policymaking: This article discusses the value of time use surveys for achieving development goals.
- Measuring time use in developing country agriculture: evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda: This article discusses the challenges of and best practices for measuring time use in agricultural households in developing countries.
- Why time use data matters for gender equality - and why it's hard to find: This blog from the World Bank Data Blog discusses the importance of understanding time use for reaching development goals related to gender equality, and the difficulties of collecting and interpreting time use data.