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Adapting Timelines and Methodologies to Conditions on the Ground

NORC researchers respond to dynamic project situations

Assessing international development projects presents many novel challenges, from logistics and language to political uncertainty and civil unrest to the very complexity of the projects being examined. NORC prides itself on being able to adapt its methodologies and project timelines to serve the needs of its clients and meet the demands of collecting scientifically rigorous data. To reliably estimate the impact of a new bridge on traffic patterns in Côte d’Ivoire, NORC carefully timed its midline traffic surveys between the completion of nearby road repairs and the closing of the old bridge. Using innovative statistical modeling that used data from three different types of traffic surveys, NORC was able to estimate the impacts of the new bridge on traffic patterns, time savings, and vehicle operating costs.

The daily hours of driving time saved by all vehicles after the Côte d’Ivoire bridge was built.

Post-election surveys need to happen as soon as possible after an election, otherwise, some respondents start to change their responses to fit the outcome rather than honestly reporting how and why they voted. When a legal challenge to the first round of Liberia’s 2017 presidential elections put NORC’s post-election survey on hold, we rescheduled fieldwork and conducted refresher training for the entire interviewer team so that we could field the survey as soon as the run-off election was allowed to move forward. In Nepal, when the government imposed restrictions on electioneering activity that threatened an assessment of the impact of candidate debates on voter behavior, NORC revised the evaluation design in the midst of baseline data collection and redeployed our field staff to ensure that the evaluation would still provide answers to its key questions.