Surveys for Action is a new initiative of Video Volunteers attempting to close the data gap in rural India. We do this by harnessing the skills of VV’s large national network of community changemakers and researchers who are located in the remotest parts of the country.
INFOGRAPHICS SUMMARISE THE RESULTS OF SOME OF OUR SURVEYS
THE PROCESS: GATHERING THE DATA
- Video Volunteers develops short surveys in partnership with different organizations.
- Data is gathered using an Android-based data collection app loaded on to mobile devices.
- The survey itself can be completed offline, and thus in the most remote areas, although a data connection is required to download the survey.
- Once the survey forms are filled the data is uploaded to a central dashboard in VV’s office in Goa.
- The raw data is ready for analysis by Video Volunteers and others.
THE PRODUCTS: BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED COMMUNICATIONS
TYPES OF SURVEYS
Depending on partners’ needs, surveys can elicit opinions and preferences, track behaviors, gather factual information and verify existing data – as super quick snapshots or even in-depth multi-year surveys.
Since Video Volunteers is both a journalism and development organization, the surveys can either be popular, with a goal of asking provocative questions that find a unique perspective on a much-explored topic, or more academic and policy-oriented.
THE RELEVANCE AND UNIQUENESS OF SURVEYS FOR ACTION
- Answers crucial questions that can only be answered by people living in the community. Questions can even be designed in consultation with the community to better bridge the culture gap between the design of questions and how they are understood.
- Generates better data on whether anti-poverty programs are working; fills the recognized data gaps of the Sustainable Development Goals
- Allows for on-the-ground verification of public government data that might have been corrupted, and thus aids transparency and accountability and better policy-making.
- While government censuses often occur years apart, VV’s community-based monitors can measure progress and action at regular, frequent intervals, and can do this at much less cost.
- Builds capacities of communities: rather than hiring outsiders, VV delivers a high-quality product while also empowering communities with information.
- Easy to implement: NGOs, corporates and citizen groups can learn our model of surveying in a matter of days.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF VIDEO VOLUNTEERS NETWORK
- The backbone of Surveys for Action is the Video Volunteers’ Community Correspondents Network.
- 200 Correspondents reside in 170 districts across 17 states across the country. These districts were chosen precisely because they were the poorest and most conflict-ridden districts in India, from which it is most difficult to gather data and which were often ‘left behind’ in Millennium Development Goal or other national surveying. Each Correspondent has access to 20 to 50 villages each.
- The surveyors also work as journalists with Video Volunteers and so understand issues of accuracy and ethics and are great at asking questions. Depending on the scope of a project, their data reports can be complemented with video, thus allowing the data to come alive through qualitative insights, and with action campaigns.
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