The Chronicle

Annual Newsletter - 2016

A Year of Major Milestones Achieved

Shadowing the Political Authorities

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Gram Pradhan in a community meeting

India is world’s biggest democracy but there is hardly any data available on basic elements i.e. politicians and their work culture. First time ever in India, MORSEL Research and Development Pvt Ltd is conducting a study to shadow the MLAs, MPs and Village Heads for 7 days in four different states. A project led by Jennifer Bussell, Political Scientist of University of California, is aimed at shadowing and recording the activities of politicians in minute details. To analyse the ways in which politicians engage with common people, how their issues are heard, resolved and how these individual interactions fit in with the broader set of engagements with other public and private individuals and groups.

IVRs and Social Accountability

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Villagers at a meeting to discuss health issues

A first of its kind project, where information was disseminated through personal meetings and Interactive Voice Recordings of 30 to 90 seconds messages to villagers. It was two way messaging, where villagers can share their responses in the form of 1 to 4 codes. The study is funded by the World Bank in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh Health System Strengthening Project (UPHSSP) and supported by the International Development Association (IDA). The idea behind implementing Social Accountability Mechanism was to improve health service delivery in Sultanpur and Fatehpur districts of Uttar Pradesh. This study is being led by Dr Manoj Mohanan, Assistant Professor in Sanford School of Public Policy,

Study based on Belief Questions

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Screenshot of questionnaire administered

A breakthrough in the history of field research involved data collection through belief questions. A study conducted in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu lead by Dr Manoj Mohanan, Assistant Professor in Sanford School of Public Policy, incorporated a unique methodology of using sliders in each question so that the respondents answer as per their level of beliefs regarding their health conditions ranging from 1 to 100 or 0 to 10. This innovative method proved to be very effective to conduct survey in this research study.

A Spearhead in Research Design

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Dr. Teitelbaum along with MORSEL team in Jharkhand

MORSEL has a vast experience in designing tailor-made research designs as per the requirements of different research studies.

Conjoint Surveys: With more than 25 conjoint surveys to its credit, MORSEL is a pioneer of it. Recently we conducted a conjoint survey in Jharkand to assess the impact of Government policies on political insurgents like Naxalites, an active radical group in Jharkhand. The experiment was led by Emmanuel J. Teitelbaum, The George Washington University.

Panel Surveys: An exemplary experience with more than 50 Panel Surveys done so far, MORSEL extended its reach to Southern India by conducting a distinctive study in Bengaluru funded by Microfinance Opportunities.

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Garment Workers in Bengaluru discussing their weekly updates

The project aims to study the financial and working conditions of the Garment Factory workers. An ongoing project of around 13 months where the workers are provided a diary, to record their weekly activities.

MORSEL Field Research endeavors has been Revolutionary

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Skill development training of Garment Workers in Gulberga district, Karnataka

MORSEL has indulged into a number of studies through Participatory Rural Appraisal. An ongoing path-breaking study in India on Labor Market Opportunities and Lives of Women in Rural India in 15 districts of Karnataka and 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh covering around 2000 villages is being conducted by us. It is one of the many PRAs conducted so far. Headed by Dr Achyuta Adhvaryu and Dr Anant Nyshadham of University of Michigan in collaboration with Shahi Export Pvt Ltd is to be conducted in 6 phases for the span of 3 years.

With enormous experience in Focused Group Discussion, recently we conducted a study by employing FGD to investigate whether villagers’ empowerment can improve participatory governance and in the long run quality of electricity supply in rural India.

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Jason Yu Wong, along with MORSEL team in Sitapur district

The project was directed by Brian Blankenship, Johannes Urpelainen and Jason Yu Wong of Columbia University.

We also conducted FGDs in Districts of Udaipur, Rajasthan led by SELCO foundation in collaboration with WRI and Government of Rajasthan. The main objective was to analyze how to expand reliable electricity access to the rural and tribal poor in Udaipur district.

Randomized Control Trials: An expert in RCT with more than 50 RCTs to its credit. MORSEL is currently conducting a study of “Dynamic Pricing Experiment” in Unnao District to study the effect of change in price of solar electricity on the consumption of it by the villagers. The experiment is designed in collaboration with Dr Johannes urpelainen of Columbia University and Semee Yoon of Yonsei University.

Monitoring and Performance Appraisal

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To ensure authentic data collection, and for monitoring of the enumerators various technologically advanced equipment are employed;

  1. While surveying any random question could get recorded without informing the enumerator or the project manager to ensure that not a single question is being skipped off.
  2. While asking question if the enumerator pronounces more than 100 words per minute, the question gets recorded on its own. This is to keep a check on the speed of the question asked.
  3. To track the GPS coordinate of respondents, enumerators and respondents to check the location.
  4. To authenticate the data from the field, photo has to be captured along with the data. This forced photo capture mechanism is to ensure that the enumerators are involved in real time survey.

Technology based paperless surveys

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Screenshot of Question on ODK

All the surveys are conducted through paperless android based electronic data collection using Open Data Kit (ODK), Quest and Survey CTO.


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Launch of an Online Magazine, by Mr Gautam Nair, Political Scientist of Yale University, USA.
India is a global research hub. But common people do not get connected or read about research studies conducted across the nation. To provide masses and researchers a platform, MORSEL has announced this venture. The magazine aims to bring forth and highlight various research works done across the country in the form of news and some interesting facts.

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