I’m Andrew Kpeleku, the Enumeration Manager at Esoko Ghana. That’s me on the right, with our Techiman Enumerator, Sampson Aiyedum. Our department is responsible for the collection, upload and validation of data (prices, offers and profiles) from 31 markets across Ghana.
I spend many days in our office in Accra approving data and managing our enumerators, but I also get to go on market visits to see our enumerators throughout the year, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. Here are my top 6 enumeration tips for anyone wanting to collect data from the field:
1) Do basic research on markets
Before markets are set up, it’s prudent to find out the real distance to each market as well as the means to get there. Though the most common means to market areas is by road, water bodies might come one’s way (see my photo of the ferry I have to take to reach one of our markets here). Basic research helps managers plan and budget appropriately.
2) Hire the right people
The importance of accurate data collection must always guide managers in hiring. Experience has shown us here that part-time teachers are very well suited for enumeration jobs in the markets, as they tend to be more responsible and can also easily gain trust from market traders.
3) Don’t forget local measures
As local measures differ from market to market, commodities must be weighed and documented for price calculation. Harvest seasons of commodities also make it necessary to have commodities weighed at least twice in a year, if not more, as a newly harvested commodity found in the market is moisturous and weighs more than older harvests.
4) Keep strict quality control
In the case of a manager doubting any piece of data, the enumerator should be contacted. Esoko Ghana has also adopted a quality control mechanism where in each market covered there is a contact known as a “Market Agent,” who we randomly call to check the veracity of the data uploaded by our enumerators.
5) Incentivize your enumerators
Enumerators should be paid basic salaries for consistency, but by motivating them to meet their targets, incentives can be paid per data upload. When an enumerator hits his/her target a bonus can also be paid.
6) Make your enumeration team a community
As enumerators work in isolation in their respective markets, it’s important for managers to stay in constant contact with them. Esoko Ghana organizes biannual meetings for enumerators to share ideas and experiences. This helps them feel part of the Esoko team.