The main objective of this survey is to provide a scientific framework for a wide range of potential studies of the medium- and long-term changes that are taking place during the process of development. The survey is meant to remedy a major constraint on the understanding of development in low-income countries – the absence of detailed, multi-level and long-term scientific data that follows individuals over time and describes both the natural and built environment in which the individuals reside. The EGC-ISSER Socioeconomic Panel Survey is a collaboration between the Economic Growth Center (EGC) at Yale University and the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon. The survey is principally funded by the EGC, designed by both the EGC and ISSER, and carried out and supervised by ISSER. Technical support is provided by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center International Unit (SRC IU). The survey provides regionally representative data for the ten regions of Ghana, employing a two-stage stratified sample design. The data are used to assist decision makers in formulating economic and social policies to identify target groups for government assistance and to evaluate and benchmark the impact of the assistance at the district level.
The first wave of data collection took place over a 6-month period from November 2009 to April 2010. The second wave of data collection started in 2014 and extended through the first half of 2015 and was a collaboration with SRC IU. The data collection for the second wave used computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) technology designed and provided by SRC IU. Data were transmitted daily and hosted at the University of Michigan. The CAPI and its associated survey-management system enables the researchers to implement a highly complex interview schedule (more than 50,000 variables) tailored to each member of the household. In addition, SRC IU conducted a five-week supervisor and interviewer training and trained the management team at Yale and ISSER staff on using the rich paradata and survey data to closely monitor the quality of the interviews in the field.