ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846


NCAER National Data Innovation Centre

First International Survey Methodology Conference

June 10-11, 2020

NCAER India Centre, 11 Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi

Call for Papers and Training Participation

The first International Survey Methodology conference, organised by the NCAER National Data Innovation Centre (NDIC) in New Delhi, seeks to bring together government statistical personnel, academia, and the global research community to explore the challenges and opportunities offered by this changing landscape of data capture, data analysis, data curation, and data usage.

The conference will comprise five types of sessions: (1) keynote lectures; (2) panel discussions; (3) thematic sessions consisting of a mix of invited and contributed papers; (4) poster sessions; and, (5) roundtables on topical subjects, allowing for greater flexibility and potential for networking.

Papers are invited for the following four technical sessions spread over two days of the Conference:

  • Use of Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and evaluation of CAPI software programmes in reducing errors in data collection;
  • The experience of conducting telephone surveys in India;
  • Use of paradata for ensuring quality control in social survey research; and
  • Use of innovative study designs and sampling techniques in surveys.

Guidelines for Paper Submission

We invite you to submit extended abstracts (no more than three A4/Letter size pages) of original research papers by February 15, 2020 to Please note the following important pointers for submitting your abstracts:

  • Include your affiliation and contact details in the email.
  • Mention one of the four sessions noted above for which the paper is being submitted.
  • There will be limited number of spaces available for presentation in the technical sessions. Therefore, some of the selected abstracts may be included in a dedicated poster session. Specify clearly if you do not want to be considered for a poster session.
  • This is a survey methodology conference, hence, this may not be the right platform for presenting empirical research that is substantive but without a strong methodological component.

After reviewing the extended abstracts, selected authors will be informed by March 15, 2020 about selection either for paper presentation or for a dedicated poster session. Full draft papers will be due by May 1, 2020.

We expect to organize two keynote lectures, one by a well-known expert on Indian statistical systems and the second by an eminent international statistician:

  • Key Statistical Products in India: Comparability of Estimates, Issues in Survey Design, and Future Challenges, Gurucharan Manna (Senior Adviser, NCAER; Member, Indian National Statistical Commission; former Director General, Central Statistical Organisation and National Sample Survey Organisation)
  • The Past, Present and Future of Social Surveys, Graham Kalton (Chairman and Senior Vice President, Westat; former Research Professor, Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland)

Pre-conference Training Programme, June 8-9, 2020

The conference will be preceded by two days of statistical and methodological training for young professionals and students covering the following indicative topics:

  • Introduction to Survey Sampling (Instructor: Santanu Pramanik, Senior Fellow, NCAER)
  • Statistical Methods for Disaggregated Level Estimates: Small Area Estimation (Instructor: Partha Lahiri, Professor, Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM), University of Maryland)
  • Introduction to Data Collection Methods (Instructor: Christopher Antoun, Assistant Research Professor, JPSM and College of Information Studies, University of Maryland)
  • Multilevel Modelling: Methodology and Application (Instructor: Arpita Ghosh, Senior Research Fellow - Big Data, The George Institute for Global Health)

Guidelines for Training Programme Application

Applications for the training programme must be received by February 15, 2020 by email at Applicants must:

  • Specify the training for which you are applying;
  • Include a cover letter (no more than one A4/letter page) describing the relevance of the training to your research study(ies);
  • Attach a copy of your curriculum vitae;
  • Rank your preferences if you are applying for more than one training in view of limited places in each.

Important Dates



Last Date for receiving paper abstracts

February 15, 2020

Communication on acceptance of paper

March 15, 2020

Submission of full paper

May 1, 2020

Application for training programme due on

February 15, 2020

Notification of acceptance in training programme

March 15, 2020

Training dates

June  8-9, 2020

Conference dates 

June 10-11, 2020

For queries, please email

Detailed information is available at

About the NCAER National Data Innovation Centre

The National Council of Applied Economic Research established its National Data Innovation Centre (NDIC) in December, 2017. The University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) and University of Michigan are key partners in this initiative. NDIC serves as a laboratory for experiments in data collection, interfacing with partners in think tanks, Indian and foreign universities, and government. NDIC forms an important core of NCAER’s long-standing data collection activities. Start-up funding for NDIC has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through grants to NCAER and to UMCP.

In a dynamic research and policy environment with a growing demand for data, it is crucial to invest in methods of data collection leading to rapid, high-quality, and policy-relevant data. Changing socio-economic conditions and technological innovations necessitate rethinking both the kinds of data being collected as well as how they are collected, and the ways in which they are curated and made accessible to users. In this context, NDIC is a centre of innovation and excellence in data collection with the objective of strengthening the data ecosystem in India.

The Centre is pursuing the following research objectives:

  • Adopting best practices in scientific data collection through sample surveys, using probability sampling for population level inference;
  • Reducing bias and measurement errors in data through experimentation with questionnaire designing and technology-based modes of data collection;
  • Improving data quality through remote monitoring of data collection activities, using process data and survey data;
  • Conducting substantive research in income, expenditure and financial inclusion, labour force participation, gender, health, and family planning; and
  • Using appropriate data analysis and visualisation tools towards valid inference, using appropriate statistical methods incorporating different aspects of the survey methodology and study design.

In addition to its research goals, NDIC also:

  1. Builds connections with diverse stakeholders, including national statistical organisations, academics, researchers and journalists;
  2. Promotes integration and mainstreaming of best practice in existing data collection efforts in India; and
  3. Enhances skills by imparting formal and informal training and by building a broader collaborative network.


NCAER India Centre, 11 Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi 110002

Tel: +91-11-6120-2698, email:

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