Resources for adapting projects during COVID-19

COVID-19 is shifting priorities worldwide while forcing all of us to adjust our lives and work. SurveyCTO users are no exception. Particularly those usually conducting field interventions with face-to-face (F2F) interviews, we understand that you are now struggling to reshape your research methods, tools and logistics. We're working to help you cope with this transition.

As always, SurveyCTO is keen to support you in collecting high quality data, and we want to let you know that we’re here to help you in planning according to these new circumstances, adjusting along with you. Therefore, we’re putting our efforts to help you transition to different data collection processes, which in most cases is shifting to phone surveys, specifically CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing). 

Here are some of the problems we're working on and thinking about:

  1. Changing the form design according to phone surveys’ context and best practices.
  2. Training enumerators remotely for a different way of working that most are not used to.
  3. Monitoring data using automated quality checks and dashboards. These not only include survey data, but also data about phone call attempts and response rates. 
As of SurveyCTO version 2.70 you also don’t need to wait for us. You can tackle your own challenges and requirements head on through field plug-ins, which allow you to extensively customize your data collection.

CATI on SurveyCTO

We’re currently developing useful resources to guide you on setting up CATI workflows. Check out our CATI Starter Kit, which illustrates the usage of case management in the context of phone-based surveys.

Useful resources

Global leaders in digital data collection and research are already sharing useful resources, documenting their own way forward:

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

World Bank Group

The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics



Michigan State University


  1. Adapting data collection for M&E projects
  2. Practical resources on data management for humanitarian and development NGOs

60 Decibels 


Web forms

CATI is one of several data collection methods that are not F2F. Web forms are an alternative that have been supported by SurveyCTO for some time. Take a look at our catalog of web form resources which can help you think through web forms as an alternative, or as a complementary data collection strategy. 

Learning from you

These are unprecedented times, so we’re all still learning how to best adapt. This is why we would love to hear about your projects, contexts and experiences. Only by doing so, we can understand your needs and best support you. If you haven't, go to our blog post about Dobility’s COVID-19 response and see how you can share your concerns with us!

We hope you and your loved ones are well in this challenging period.


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