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close this bookMethods for the Evaluation of the Impact of Food and Nutrition Programmes (UNU, 1984, 287 p.)
close this folder12. Data recording and processing
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentData recording
View the documentData processing
View the documentConcluding remarks
View the documentReferences


In contrast with laboratory investigations which commonly give rise to relatively few observations, large-scale nutrition intervention programmes require the collection, orderly handling and management of large quantities of data.

Since the data ultimately constitute the link between the design of the intervention and the evaluation of results, its management and handling clearly merit careful consideration. In this context, the procedures required for the collection of data and its subsequent treatment, which include the definition of the plan for analysis and expected outputs, should be an integral part of the study design. Thus, such procedures should be explicitly defined in the standard operating protocol (SOP) of the study.

Because of the highly-specialized nature of the skills required for both proper data management and analysis, it is advisable that specialists in these fields are included as part of the evaluation staff. Under such an arrangement, these specialists fully participate in the planning and execution of the evaluation.

Some basic procedures relating to various aspects of data recording and processing are described in this chapter, Although the coverage is neither complete nor exhaustive, it is hoped that the topics considered provide some general guidelines which may be useful as a frame of reference for identifying appropriate data management procedure under the specific set of circumstances of a particular study.

The processes to be described can best be summarized in terms of a gross flow chart diagram, as illustrated in figure 12.1. (see

FIG. 12.1. Stages of Data Recording and Processing). Obviously, the different stages depicted here on a macro basis can, and must be, expanded in detail in accord with conditions pertaining to any specific investigation. Two examples of such expansion are presented later in the text in connection with the preparation of forms and questionnaires and the description of the sequence of events that relate to the process of data analysis.