National guidelines for data quality in surveys: An overview

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Good quality health, nutrition and demographic survey data are vital for evidence-based decision-making. Existing literature indicates system specific, data collection and reporting gaps that affect quality of health, nutrition and demographic survey data, thereby affecting its usability and relevance. To mitigate these, the National Data Quality Forum (NDQF), under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS) developed the National Guidelines for Data Quality in Surveys delineating assurance mechanisms to generate standard quality data in surveys. The present article highlights the principles from the guidelines for informing survey researchers/organizations in generating good quality survey data. It describes the process of development of the national guidelines, principles for each of the survey phases listed in the document and applicability of them to data user for ensuring data quality. The guidelines may be useful to a broad-spectrum of audience such as data producers from government and non-government organizations, policy makers, research institutions, as well as individual researchers, thereby playing a vital role in improving quality of health, nutrition and demographic data ecosystem.