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Successful use of tablet personal computers and wireless technologies for the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Deepak Paudel, Marie Ahmed, Anjushree Pradhan, Rajendra Lal Dangol
Source: Global Health: Science and Practice, vol. 1 no. 2 p. 277-284, doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-12-00056
Topic(s): Data collection
Data quality
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2013
Abstract: Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), coupled with the use of mobile and wireless technology, is growing as a data collection methodology. Nepal, a geographically diverse and resource-scarce country, implemented the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, a nationwide survey of major health indicators, using tablet personal computers (tablet PCs) and wireless technology for the first time in the country. This paper synthesizes responses on the benefits and challenges of using new technology in such a challenging environment from the 89 interviewers who administered the survey. Overall, feedback from the interviewers indicate that the use of tablet PCs and wireless technology to administer the survey demonstrated potential to improve data quality and reduce data collection time—benefits that outweigh manageable challenges, such as storage and transport of the tablet PCs during fieldwork, limited options for confidential interview space due to screen readability issues under direct sunlight, and inconsistent electricity supply at times. The introduction of this technology holds great promise for improving data availability and quality, even in a context with limited infrastructure and extremely difficult terrain.