India Human Development Survey – II

Theme: Human development, Pan-state survey
Duration: April 2012 to August 2012
Project partners: National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)

India Human Development Surveys I (2004-5) and II (2011-12) form part of a collaborative research program between researchers from the National Council of Applied Economic Research and University of Maryland. IHDS-II aims to re-interview the nationally representative sample of 41,554 households spread across 33 states and Union Territories of India that were interviewed in IHDS-I. The survey helps in documenting the changes in the life of an Indian household and understand the factors that allow a household to partake the fruits of growth or be left out of the growing economy.

GRAAM partnered with NCAER for the project in Karnataka and undertook the pan-State survey covering 222 locations across 28 districts and reaching out to nearly 4000 families in a 4-month period.

A team of 64 members were trained on survey tools, linking questions, cross verification of responses using indirect methods, conducting survey in the field, communication with the respondents, handling the situation of opposition by the community, using GPRS technology for providing daily updates.

There were 6 sets of questionnaires administered to different respondents in the project. The questionnaires covered people in households, primary schools, health facilities and groups of people in rural locations. There were additional questionnaires for eligible women and skill tests for youth in the households. The surveyors gathered data to understand the way the respondents live, work, educate their children, care for their aged parents, and deal with ill health. The surveyors were also required to respond to phone based progress reports for each location and this was tracked through GPRS.

The survey was monitored to maintain the quality of the data collection. The supervisors tracked the daily schedules of each surveyor and did a thorough verification of all the completed questionnaires. The Survey Co-ordinator and Survey Field Co-ordinator carried out random verification of questionnaires in the field.

As an innovation, ‘trackers’ were introduced in the project who visited the survey locations ahead of the interview teams and helped in establishing relationship with the community and planning the logistics.

GRAAM succeeded in completing the survey by interviewing 3876 households in the 222 locations. The project was an opportunity for GRAAM to collaborate with a premier research organization like NCAER and be part of an internationally renowned study. It was a learning opportunity to learn about ‘Panel Study’ design in detail. It was a unique experience to conduct a large scale survey in a short duration. In addition to the scheduled interviews, GRAAM team also conducted open community discussions and informal interactions with community members in different parts of the state.

It is a matter of pride for GRAAM that the project partners recognized the quality of survey in Karnataka as one of the best among several states where the survey was carried out.