This research symposium organised by NCAER in collaboration with the Survey Research Centre (SRC) at the University of Michigan initiated discussions on improving the sample survey research and practices relevant for bringing data to inform policy making. The Chairman of the National Statistical Commission, Dr Pronab Sen, participated in the symposium and India’s Chief Statistician, Dr T C A Anant, delivered the opening keynote remarks.
The symposium invited several experts from SRC to talk about some of the profoundly influential, long-term panel surveys that SRC has pioneered, including the well-known US Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Professor William Axinn spoke the US national Survey of Family Growth, Narayan Sastry on the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics and David Weir on the US health and Retirement Study. Beth – Ellen Pennell from SRC led a session on computer based tools for managing surveys.
The symposium provided an opportunity to compare notes on the Indian experience with surveys, both from NCAER and NSSO. Household and other field surveys have always been one of NCAER’s strengths from its very inception in 1956. More recently, NCAER has mounted the India Human Development Surveys (IHDS-I and II). IHDS-II will be the first national longitudinal panel survey of its kind in India.
Dr Sonalde Desai from NCAER spoke on IHDS-I and II, Amit Mukherjee from IIM-Lucknow on the National Survey of Household Income and Expenditure while G C Manna, SCIO on the National Sample Surveys. Finally, a policy roundtable chaired by Dr Shekhar Shah, Director General NCAER discussed the ways to strengthen public policy survey research in India.
The symposium was followed by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NCAER and SRC, University of Michigan for collaborative work on survey research.
SRC at Michigan (http://www.src.isr.umich.edu/) is a global leader in interdisciplinary survey-based search and its teaching and training. SRC conducts some of the most widely cited and influential studies in the US. SRC’s long-running surveys, including the Survey of Consumer Attitudes, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Monitoring the Future Study, and the Health and Retirement Study, have become national resources for US social research and policy.