A Study of Interviewer Compliance in 2013 and 2014 Census Test Adaptive Designs

Researchers are interested in the effectiveness of adaptive and responsive survey designs that monitor and respond to data using tailored or targeted interventions. These designs often require adherence to protocols, which can be difficult when surveys allow in-person interviewers flexibility in managing cases. This article describes examples of interviewer noncompliance and compliance in adaptive design experiments that occurred in two United States decennial census tests. The two studies tested adaptive procedures including having interviewers work prioritized cases and substitute face-to-face attempts with telephone calls. When to perform such procedures was communicated to interviewers via case management systems that necessitated twice-daily transmissions of data. We discuss reasons when noncompliance may occur and ways to improve compliance.