We work with clients and other OPM teams to develop and implement cutting-edge study designs, to gather and analyse high quality primary data across a range of policy areas, and to drive the creation of substantive new thematic and methodological knowledge.
We provide analytical and practical support across all stages of survey design, implementation, and analysis. Our quantitative surveys cover a range of units, including large-scale household, school, health facility, and business-level surveys that cover several thousand respondents. They collect a wide variety of information about households, individuals, and institutions, including (for example) household socioeconomic status or health outcomes, teacher and pupil assessments, or administrative information taken from facility records.
We use the latest innovations in data collection methods that overcome some of the longstanding challenges with collecting high quality data in low- and middle-income countries. For example, we have developed strong in-house capacity to design Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) questionnaires to collect survey data through mobile phones or tablets, which have considerable advantages over traditional paper-based data collection. The majority of our surveys are implemented using CAPI even in challenging contexts with non-existent or poor infrastructure.
Our survey work is underpinned by strong and systematic quality assurance processes. We have built a well-established and comprehensive quality control system that cuts across the entire survey process from the design and development of questionnaires through to training, fieldwork supervision and data processing. As part of that system, we have developed an innovative dashboard to monitor fieldwork that is written in STATA, an analytical statistical software, and displayed using Power Bi, an online visualisation tool. The dashboard can be updated daily to:
- monitor data collection progress and ensure teams are being deployed effectively;
- check interviewers' performance on key survey modules or research variables; and
- identify inconsistencies or uncommon patterns in individual interviews to provide timely training and feedback. This provides timely feedback and to implement course-correction processes that significantly improve data quality.
The qualitative hub works across OPM to deliver best practice qualitative and mixed-methods research. The hub leads the design and delivery of qualitative research across varied thematic areas and provides support to other teams to ensure the delivery of methodologically rigorous and innovative work at OPM. A key function is to provide quality assurance of research and evaluation. Members provide expertise in the design and delivery as well as back-stopping support to ensure OPM’s research maintains a consistently high standard.
The qualitative hub specialises in various evaluation approaches including theory-based evaluations such as contribution analysis, process tracing, and realist evaluations and conducts a range of other qualitative research studies such as operational research, participatory studies, and case studies. It has constantly applied and adapted these methods to deliver high quality research in complex environments.
The hub strives to develop and share best practices in qualitative research. Members regularly participate in contributing to international conferences, workshops, and seminars that discuss new research methods. The hub, along with other qualitative researchers in the organisation, leads seminars and workshops to build organisational capacity in qualitative and mixed methods research skills. It helps address issues critical to methodological rigour, research ethics and inclusion of vulnerable groups in research and leads in the development of methods notes and guidance documents.