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Dirgha Ghimire photo

Capacity Building for International Social Science Research

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Dirgha Ghimire

This proposal seeks funding to support an international social science research capacity building program in Nepal. Specifically, the goal is to strengthen the social science research capacity of the Institute for Social and Environmental Research-Nepal (ISER-N), through training of its research staff on Blaise-based Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). PSC and ISER- N are long-term collaborating partners. Since the inception of ISER-N, PSC and ISER-N are jointly conducting research, education, and institutional capacity building both in the US and Nepal. Thus, all PSC’s programs of research and training heavily rely on research infrastructure at ISER-N. To date, all of PSC research activities, particularly data collection, are performed by using the traditional paper-pencil data collection and data management system. Due to increased sophistication of PSC research programs, data collection and management has become more challenging. Under the current funding climate it has been extremely difficult to cover the cost of data collection within the NIH funding cap using the traditional paper-pencil based data collection and data management system. CAPI has quality control features that are not available in Paper and Pencil based Interview (PAPI). Therefore, for both cost efficiency and quality purposes it is now imperative to make the transition from the PAPI data collection and data management system to CAPI. The Survey Research Center at ISR, a world leader in social science data collection in CAPI, provides unique training opportunities on both programming CAPI and using the Survey Instruments and Data Management System. Therefore, to help reduce the cost of data collection and data management systems and improve the quality of the data that we collect, I request funding from the PSC Small Grant. This grant will provide training to two ISER-N research staff members who are directly involved in data collection and data management tasks but have never exposed to CAPI. The PSC Small Grant would provide these two staff members the opportunity to attend the SRC Summer Institute course on data
collection methods in 2013. During their time here, they will also work with PSC researchers and staff on data management as well as work with SRO staff to get direct, hands-on experience with CAPI. Upon completion of this training, they will return to ISER-N, get involved in the field research activities, and will provide training to research staff in Nepal. Dr. Dirgha Ghimire, Associate Research Scientist, will coordinate this training program. The proposed research capacity building program will ultimately help improve the quality of PSC’s program of research as well as strengthen and reinforce ties between PSC and its collaborating institution, ISER-N, in Nepal.

Funding Period: 03/01/2013 to 06/30/2014

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