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Selecting a Sampling Methodology for Social Indicators
by Divya Chaturvedi and CGAP/Ford Foundation Social Indicators Project at the SEEP Network in 2009
The purpose of this paper is to describe the various sampling options for MFIs interested in testing social indicators and/or poverty tools, such as the Grameen Foundation Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI) and the USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT). The paper guides readers through the steps required to use different sampling methods necessary for a successful sampling strategy for social indicators. The paper draws on real examples of sampling methods from MFIs that have participated in the three phases of the Ford Foundation and CGAP-initiated Social Indicators Project to illustrate what has worked for the MFIs and what has been a learning experience. The paper is organized as follows. A brief discussion on the census versus sampling debate highlights situations where a census approach would be more relevant. This is followed by a description of types of sampling—probability and non-probability sampling methods, as well as longitudinal and cross-sectional sampling techniques. A brief discussion on appropriate sample size is followed by a description of sampling requirements and strategy for implementing the PPI and PAT poverty tools. In the conclusion is presented a sampling matrix to help MFIs select the right sampling method for their organization.