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Home / News / National Bureau of Statistics has started testing the CAPI method of collecting data in households
National Bureau of Statistics has started testing the CAPI method of collecting data in households
13.10.2021
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National Bureau of Statistics has started testing the CAPI method of collecting data in households

From October 4 to 8, a number of specialists, including interview operators from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), participated to a workshop aimed at testing and practicing CAPI application (computer assisted personal interview). For the first time NBS is testing the CAPI method of household data collection for the Labor Force Survey (LFS). This modern method is widely used by statistical offices in other countries. NBS uses successfully the CAPI method in the collection of consumer price data to measure inflation (consumer price index, CPI). Both the CAPI test program application for LFS and the training were carried out with the support of the Technical Assistance Project - "Support for statistics in the framework of Public Administration Reform" (ParStat), funded by the European Union.

CAPI is a modern alternative for the traditional paper statistical data collection, where interview operators use portable electronic devices to collect data from respondents. The use of mobile electronic devices, donated by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the field data collection represents an important step for the NBS, as it contributes to increasing data quality and security, but also to reducing data processing time. Using the tablets will no longer require the manual data entry, since the statistical data will be digitalized directly in the field and synchronized in a real time with the NBS server.

Since November 2020 important efforts have been made by NBS specialists and multiple internal tests have been carried out. According to Angela Foalea, consultant within the Employment Statistic Department, the application of the CAPI method brings several benefits, such as "increasing data security, reducing data entry and processing time, cost efficiency".

According to the head of the Household Data Collection Department, Larisa Borș, changing the data collection method is an important step forward for the NBS in terms of optimizing and modernising statistical data production activities. During October and November current year it is planned to test the functionalities of field data collection from a sub-sample of households participating in the LFS, as well as the remote monitoring component of the activity of field interview operators.

Florian Nika, ParStat expert who developed the application together with the NBS ICT staff, mentioned that "the modernisation of data collection procedures by the NBS makes the Republic of Moldova even more in line with European standards”.

Starting from the second half of October, the specialists trained by the NBS will work in the field for a period of four weeks, in several localities across the country to collect data on tablets. Afterwards, other functionalities of automated data processing by the CAPI method shall be developed.

While switching to a new collection method, the importance of the interview operator is crucial, being responsible not only for interviewing respondents, but also for entering data and identifying errors. This implies rethinking the organisation of the data collection network and the strategy of hiring field staff- activities planned for implementation. In a medium perspective, after developing and testing the entire set of institutional and functional components of the CAPI method within the LFS, this will be replicated for other statistical surveys.

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