Nov 16, 2020

Data collection during COVID-19 times

New measures to safeguard our teams but also those we interview

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, our team has developed and implemented a series of health and safety measures, designed both to safeguard our data collection teams and to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease among the members of the public who are participating and/or being interviewed. This aligns with our “do no harm” policy and our commitment to always put the safety of individuals first.

The need to reduce social contact during this time means that evaluating any requirements for in-person data collection is a key consideration for Exigo at all times. At all times, the team will abide by social distancing regulations and curfew measures applicable in countries of project implementation.

On a case by case basis (depending on location, national and local regulations, number of cases, and client requirements) and with a close, regular monitoring of the situation, Exigo is currently collecting data virtually when possible, and in person when necessary - with clear safety operating procedures.

  • Exigo is committed to carrying out surveys via telephone when needed. Our team of enumerators in each country is trained and experienced in both in-person surveys and virtual telephone collection. 
  • Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) are also conducted by telephone, and only face to face when absolutely necessary and deemed safe and appropriate. 
  • Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) can be conducted virtually on video conferencing applications after an evaluation of the COVID-related circumstances deems this most appropriate. When possible, FGDs are conducted in person with the following health and safety measures.

Qualitative data will not be conducted at any time in person with clinically vulnerable individuals, anyone shielding, and those most at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Health and safety measures for undertaking face to face activities:
  • FGDs and KIIs are conducted with masks and/or face shields worn by the facilitator and the participant/s
  • During FGDs each person is seated at least 1.5 metres apart from each other and with 6-8 participants
  • Surveys are conducted with masks worn by the enumerator and always at a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the survey participants
  • Data is collected in a setting that ensures that respondents are not exposed to individuals who are not participating in the project implementation
  • Enumerators will also, when possible, strive to raise awareness among respondents on preventive measures against COVID-19
All facilitators and enumerators:
  • Frequently wash their hands for twenty seconds, with soap and water (when soap and running water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub is used)
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth if their hands are not clean
  • Avoid close contact, and keep a distance of 1.5 metres with colleagues and project participants.