10.5 Data collection methods
Select the most appropriate data collection methods to gather the required information. It is advisable to use a wide range of data collection methods, and for the team to be well prepared and skilled in the use of the chosen methods.
The assessment will yield clearer results if the methodology is well planned beforehand. Key informant interviews and directed observations are methods used regularly, although are often poorly planned. Predetermine who to interview, what questions to ask (test the questions before, if possible) and how to ask them, and decide what needs to be observed, what things you will be looking for, and how to record that data. In addition to key informant interviews and direct observation, there are many other methodologies that can provide important information, as outlined in section 10.5.1.
Methods for information gathering
|Available data collection methods||Tools and ‘how to’ guides|
|Annex 4.6 IFRC 2005. Guidelines for emergency assessment, Chapter 7
Annex 4.5 The good enough guide, Tool 5
|Focus groups||Annex 4.6 IFRC 2005. Guidelines for emergency assessment, Chapter 7
Annex 4.5 The good enough guide, Tool 6
|Direct observation||Annex 4.5 The good enough guide, Tool 9|
|Surveys||Annex 4.5 The good enough guide, Tool 7|
|Participatory rural appraisal methods-for example, mapping, seasonal calendars, timelines and proportional piling.||Annex 4.7 ALNAP Participation Handbook|
Satellite imagery, phone / internet interviews, fly-over (with plane, helicopter or drone) and email exchanges are also useful data collection methods to consider.