As part of IPA’s response to COVID-19, many existing and new data collections have shifted to remote data collection modes including computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), interactive voice response (IVR) and SMS surveys. These remote data collection modes allow research to continue, but there are many open questions about whether these types of data collection can effectively substitute for face-to-face surveying. Research on remote survey methods in low- and medium-income countries (LMICs) has been conducted intermittently over the past decade. This paper reviews this evidence on remote surveying methods to inform researchers about the efficacy of remote surveying methods across three domains: cost, response rates, and representativeness. We report key lessons from this research as well as caveats and some areas for further research.
The list of manuscripts, which serve as the source data for this review, is also available online.