Comprehension of Survey Questions in an AIDS Indicator Survey in Tanzania

P. Stanley Yoder, Macro International Inc.
Laura Nyblade, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

This paper describes a rapid method for evaluating the comprehension by respondents of survey questions on sexual practices and HIV/AIDS used in an AIDS Indicator Survey conducted in Swahili in Tanzania in 2004. Through a combination of observation of survey teams at work, a workshop conducted with interviewers to assess their interviewing experience after survey completion, and a pilot test of revised questions, the research identified questions that proved problematic in the field, elucidated the origin of the problems, and suggested ways to repair the problematic questions. Working from repairs made to questions in the field, the final report made recommendations for how to revise specific questions for better comprehension and described ways to identify questions likely to pose problems in the field. The pilot test with the repaired questions showed that the new questions made for easier and more efficient interviewing.

Presented in Session 2: The AIDS Pandemic