Accompanied Interview - During the survey period, the field supervisor accompanies each investigator and monitors several interviews in progress. A good policy is to have at least 10% of the interviews monitored through accompaniment.
Back Checks - Back checks involve selecting a few key questions and confirming the respondent's response for these questions. The purpose is to ensure that the information marked in the schedule reflects the true opinion of the respondent. This can be done through a house visit or over the phone. The general policy is to perform back checks on 25% - 30% of the schedules.
Citizen Report Card (CRC) - The CRC is an assessment of public services from the point of view of local users. Unlike an opinion poll, the CRC survey includes feedback from those who have interacted with an agency or used a particular service. As a result, the CRC captures the experience of users instead of views from the public. The process involves gathering and disseminating citizen feedback, as well as follow-up advocacy efforts, to facilitate improvements in public service delivery.
Civil Society Organization (CSO) - CSOs consist of a range of institutions that work, broadly speaking, to improve political, social or environmental conditions. CSOs are distinct from government and business. Unlike most businesses, the bottom line is not financial. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, charities, resident welfare associations (RWAs), community based organizations (CBOs), professional associations, academia, organized religious groups, and cooperatives are examples of civil society. CSOs, and NGOs in specific, are common lead institutions for CRCs.
Closed-Ended Questions - Type of questions where answer options are provided to the respondent. These questions are pre-coded in the questionnaire, which makes data collection and data entry easier. There are many types of closed ended questions: yes/no, scales (very satisfied, partly satisfied, dissatisfied), ranges (less than 1 km, 1-5km, greater than 5 km) and so on.
Critical 9 - The nine factors that are important to consider when assessing a locality's suitability to the Citizen Report Card methodology.
Cross Tabulations - Cross tabs look at the relationship between responses. For example, for a CRC on public health facilities, generating a cross tabulation on overall satisfaction versus the type of health facility visited may provide useful information about the differences in performance across types of facilities. Cross tabulations are easy to perform using any basic database package, and create a powerful tool for further analysis of citizen feedback.
Field Coordinator - The individual responsible for managing and operationalizing the field survey process. At the top of the survey team hierarchy, he/she is in regular communication with team supervisors and is responsible for ensuring that systems to check the quality of data are in place.
Focus Group Discussions (FGD) - Focus groups are organized small group discussions. They are 'focused' because persons in the discussion share a similar quality (e.g. live in the same locality or have knowledge of the city) and because the discussion aims to gather information on a focused topic guided by a set of questions. The small group nature of the FGD allows for in-depth probing.
Frequencies - A frequency distribution is calculated by totaling the number of responses in each answer category. Frequency distributions are usually expressed in percentages. For example, if 55 out of 330 respondents state that they are satisfied with the quality of drinking water, the percentage equivalent is that 16.7% of respondents are satisfied with drinking water quality.
Independent Consortium - An institution set up by government, civil society or a donor to lead the CRC process. Its members come from civil society, government, citizen welfare groups, media and other entities committed to improving the quality of public services.
Investigator - Conducts surveys according to the sampling design. The investigator should have strong probing skills and be able to relate to the respondent.
Investigator Briefing - Training session for potential investigators. Investigators are introduced to the details of the CRC study, walked through the questionnaire and conduct mock interviews.
Lead institution - The lead institution is the organization that manages and drives the CRC process. The lead institution could be a CSO, government body or independent consortium.
Mock Interviews - Practice interviews conducted by each investigator in the pool of potential investigators, during the investigator briefing. Mock interviews are observed by field coordinator and other qualified judges. Each potential investigator is given a rating and the final selection of investigators is carried out.
Open-Ended Questions - Type of question where the respondent is left to answer the question as he or she wishes. When the scope of answers is uncertain, open-ended questions are very useful. However, vague responses make it difficult to compile responses and make comparisons across users. Another drawback is that open-ended questions must be coded after the data is collected - increasing the time for data entry.
Pilot - Pre-testing of the questionnaire through 10-15 interviews to identify problems with the wording and internal sequencing of questions, as well as the time taken per interview and gaps in the questionnaire. The time devoted to piloting and revising the questionnaire can significantly improve the quality of the survey instrument.
Population - The population is the group being studied.
Public Affairs Centre (PAC) - PAC is a non-profit and neutral organization dedicated to improving the quality of governance in India. PAC's focus is primarily in areas where the public can play a proactive role in improving governance. PAC undertakes and supports research on public policy and services, disseminates research findings, facilitates citizen action support for collective action and provides advisory services to state and non-state agencies. One of PAC's pioneering efforts has been the development of the Citizen Report Card.
Public Service Provider - A public service provider is a government entity that provides services (water, health care, transportation, education) to the residents of a locality. The service provider could be a local body or have authority granted at the state or central level. In many municipalities, public services are provided by both local and state agencies.
Quality Checks - A variety of methods to ensure that data used to generate findings represent the stated opinion of respondents. During the field survey, the field coordinator and team supervisors are continuously checking on the quality of collected data. The team supervisor accompanies each investigator on several interviews to ensure quality and consistency of fieldwork. 30% of all survey is back checked to ensure that the recorded responses match the respondent's opinion. Prior to data entry each schedule is studied. After data entry, the data must be crosschecked to ensure accurate entry.
Questionnaire - A survey instrument in which the respondent completes his/her own survey form. An external interviewer does not administer the survey.
Schedule - The technical name for a survey instrument in which an investigator completes and administers the survey. In most CRCs, the survey instrument is technically a schedule, not a questionnaire.
Scrutiny of Survey Schedule – After the questionnaires have been checked for quality in the field, a trained team should complete 100% scrutiny of the questionnaires. A group of trained individuals should pay particular attention to make sure that: 1) all required questions are answered 2) skips followed 3) responses make sense and are not internally contradictory.
Simple Random Sampling - Each unit of analysis is assigned a number and numbers are randomly selected using a table of random numbers, a computer random number generator, or some other device that can generate random numbers. The benefit is that this method is easy to execute and to explain to others. The negative side is that representation from important sub groups may be missing.
Spot Checks - Surprise visits made by the field coordinator during an interview in-progress to ensure that the survey process is unbiased and carried out properly.