Experience of Frontieri Consult in using the RGCS Method for Research

Frontieri Consult has successfully completed the assignment titled “The Socioeconomic Characteristics of Mobile Populations in Ethiopia,” commissioned by the World Bank Group, utilizing the Random Geographic Cluster Sampling (RGCS) method. The primary aim of this assignment was to gather comprehensive socioeconomic data of mobile populations in Ethiopia, shedding light on their livelihood challenges and social service needs. Here’s a breakdown of the unique features and key highlights of the project:

Unique Features:

  • Cluster Sampling Units: Unlike traditional surveys, Frontieri employed clusters as primary sampling units, each containing multiple hamlet center points. Four regions in Ethiopia with significant mobile populations were purposively selected for the study. RGCS units were used to ensure representative sampling within these regions, with study areas stratified using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data.
  • Technological Integration: Innovative technologies played a crucial role in data collection. The maps.me application, along with shapefiles and KML files loaded onto tablets, facilitated navigation to specified clusters and hamlets. ArcGIS was also utilized to streamline the data collection process.
  • Boundary Restriction Measures: Shapefiles were prepared and loaded onto enumerator tablets to delineate boundaries within which data collectors operated. This ensured focused data collection efforts within the designated primary sampling units (clusters).

Project Highlights:
A total of 213 primary sampling units were targeted for socioeconomic data collection across four regions of Ethiopia. Despite encountering various challenges such as remoteness, inaccessibility, displacement of communities, and communication constraints, Frontieri achieved a 100% success rate in completing 1,920 household interviews and 213 community interviews. To overcome these challenges, strategic measures were implemented, including detailed mapping, regular communication with field teams, sequential deployment of data collectors, and collaboration with the client to replace non-accessible clusters.

Frontieri Consult’s experience in utilizing the RGCS method for research underscores its proficiency in overcoming challenges and delivering valuable insights. Leveraging innovative methodologies and technological advancements, Frontieri has demonstrated its readiness to undertake similar projects in the future, contributing to evidence-based decision-making and development efforts in Ethiopia and beyond.

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