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FAO in India

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for Agricultural Surveys and Price Reporting


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the project “Strengthening Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) in India Using Innovative Methods and Digital Technology” funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, organized a training workshop on application of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for agricultural surveys and price reporting in New Delhi, from 11-15 July, 2016.

The workshop provided a forum for sharing FAO’s experience in CAPI application in surveys and data collection. Participants were introduced to the free CAPI software known as Survey Solutions developed by the Development Research Group of the World Bank in collaboration with FAO which meets the requirement of agricultural and prices’ surveys. The software combines powerful functionality for data capturing on tablets with tools for survey management and data aggregation, which in turn reduces the time lag between data collection and data analysis, dramatically improves data quality and also cuts survey costs. Additionally, it provides national statistical agencies and other institutions involved in data collection with a cost-effective and sustainable solution for conducting complex and large-scale surveys with minimal or no technical assistance.

About 22 statisticians, economists and data collectors from the different departments of the government attended the training workshop. The participants were drawn from three separate domains – agricultural census, cost of cultivation survey and prices. Two international participants, one from the Government of Bhutan and the other from the UN Statistical Institute for Asia and Pacific (SIAP), Japan, were also present at the workshop.

In addition to a basic introduction to the application of tabs for conducting surveys, the participants were also familiarized on the advanced Survey Solutions features. The overview on the traditional ‘pen and paper’ versus tablet data collection modes, including the benefits and disadvantages was received well by the participants. At the end of the week-long training workshop, participants unanimously agreed on the distinct advantages of applying information technology tools for data collection, transmission and collation.