Improving Survey Methodology Through Matrix Sampling Design, Integrating Statistical Review Into Data Collection, and Synthetic Estimation Evaluation

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Virginia Tech

The research presented in this dissertation touches on all aspects of survey methodology, from questionnaire design to final estimation. We first approach the questionnaire development stage by proposing a method of developing matrix sampling designs, a design where a subset of questions are administered to a respondent in such a way that the administered questions are predictive of the omitted questions. The proposed methodology compares favorably to previous methods when applied to data collected from a household survey conducted in the Nampula province of Mozambique. We approach the data collection stage by proposing a structured procedure of implementing small-scale surveys in such a way that non-sampling error attributed to data collection is minimized. This proposed methodology requires the inclusion of the statistician in the data editing process during data collection. We implemented the structured procedure during the collection of household survey data in the city of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. We found indications that the data resulting from the structured procedure is of higher quality than the data with no editing. Finally, we approach the estimation phase of sample surveys by proposing a model-based approach to the estimation of the mean squared error associated with synthetic (indirect) estimates. Previous methodology aggregates estimates for stability, while our proposed methodology allows area-specific estimates. We applied the proposed mean squared error estimation methodology and methods found during literature review to simulated data and estimates from 2010 Census Coverage Measurement (CCM). We found that our proposed mean squared error estimation methodology compares favorably to the previous methods, while allowing for area-specific estimates.

Census Coverage Measurement (CCM), Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), Data Editing, Impact Evaluation, Matrix Sampling, Multiple Imputation, On-the-Ground Statistician, Split Questionnaire Design, Synthetic Estimation Error