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Showing posts from April, 2017

Centralization vs Local Control in Face-to-Face Surveys

A key question that face-to-face surveys must answer is how to balance local control against the need for centralized direction. This is an interesting issue to me. I've worked on face-to-face surveys for a long time now, and I have had discussion about this issue with many people.

"Local control" means that interviewers make the key decisions about which cases to call and when to call them. They have local knowledge that helps them to optimize these decisions. For example. if they see people at home, they know that is a good time to make an attempts. They learn people's work schedules, etc. This has been the traditional practice. This may be because before computers, there was no other option.

The "centralized" approach says that the central office can summarize the data across many call attempts, cases, and interviewers and come up with  an optimal policy. This centralized control might serve some quality purpose, as in our efforts here to promote more ba…