Using diaries to collect data in resource-poor settings: questions on design and implementation.


Wiseman, V; Conteh, L; Matovu, F; (2005) Using diaries to collect data in resource-poor settings: questions on design and implementation. Health policy and planning, 20 (6). pp. 394-404. ISSN 0268-1080 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czi042

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Abstract

Diaries, as a tool for data collection, have been around for some time. Lessons shared to date come from disparate settings and there remains a degree of ambiguity regarding the value of diaries, particularly in resource-poor settings where populations are often illiterate and highly mobile. We recently designed a pictorial diary for the collection of data on household consumption and expenditure in Tanzania and The Gambia. A random sample of 361 diary keepers in The Gambia and 308 in Tanzania maintained diaries for a period of 12 months. The aim of this paper is to share some of the lessons learnt in developing and applying this instrument. It is structured around a series of questions about diaries that we found relatively few answers to when we first embarked on this study. These questions include: how should a diary be designed? How long should a diary be maintained? When should entries be recorded? Who should keep the diary? The motive behind this paper is simple: to provide future researchers who are contemplating using diaries in resource-poor settings with some practical information that may guide them through this process.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 16183737
Web of Science ID: 233045600007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/13005

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