Certifiable? Using Paradata to Evaluate Fields Representatives' Performance in the Survey of Income and Program Participation

Jason Fields, U.S. Census Bureau
Matthew C. Marlay, U.S. Census Bureau

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) has begun administering a certification test to its field representatives (FRs), prior to their being allowed to conduct interviews with survey respondents. As this paper shows, certification test scores directly correlate with field performance, including respondent refusal rates, interview timing, and interview completion percent. Next, using the certification test results in conjunction with other paradata (e.g., FR experience), we examine how results from the 2013 SIPP field test are affected by variations in FR ability. Additionally, we attempt to predict how training success as measured by certification results will affect results from the first wave of the 2014 SIPP panel. Finally, we use contact history data and both consent responses and recordings generated by our Computer Assisted Recorded Interviews (CARI) to compare results from interviews with the broader predictions from the paradata.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods