How We Do

Outline India specializes in both quantitative and qualitative studies, wherein, statistical enquiries provides a quantitative foundation to examine sources of error and to summarize their effects while social and cognitive psychology provides the framework for understanding how human behaviour affects accuracy in survey responses. Sociology and Anthropology offers theories of social stratification and cultural diversity that facilitates qualitative research. The interdisciplinary team-mix contributes to the foundation of survey methodology. This makes operation inherently multidisciplinary and dynamic.

Research Methods

Quantitative Approach

(Survey Method Plan)

Method of data collection
Tools and Techniques
  • Face-to-face (PAPI/CAPI)
  • Web-based
  • Self-administered questionnaires Interviews
  • Structured record interviews
  • Structured observations
  • Cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys
  • Random/Non-Random
  • Single stage/Multi-stage
  • Power calculation
  • Descriptive analysis
  • Inferential analysis
  • SWOT analysis

Qualitative Research Overview

  • Contextual understanding: Tool designing, enumerators guides, quality checks
  • Nuanced descriptions on processes: Enabled through pilots
  • Intangible factors, cultural patterns and nuances: Empirical data
  • Obtain participatory meaning: Identification with space and resources
  • Contextualize the process of enquiry based on cognitive levels
  • Triangulation: Different data sources
  • Insights to inform thematic research: Build into future research design

Qualitative Approach and Methods of Enquiry

Interview Method
Guided technique
Participatory Methods
  • Key Informant Interview
  • Cognitive Interviews
  • Semi Structured
  • Structured Interviews
  • Focussed Group Discussion
  • Documentations
  • Observation Technique
  • Workshop Technique
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Phenomenology
  • Narrative
  • Historical
  • Behavioral
  • Participatory Rural Appraisal
  • Human Centred Design
  • Transect Walks
  • GIS Mapping


Scribe pens for qualitative data collection
GIS & visualization of data
  • Allows for quick & real time monitoring (Approval chains/time stamps/audio checks, quick statistics to gauge trends)
  • Validation of responses & completion of data
  • Cost & time optimization: Most are available for free, tailored to our needs
  • Images of field notes paired with voice recording
  • Helps get context as and when needed of our 'field notes'
  • (Digitization of notes is tricky)
  • GPS tracking for building panel datasets
  • Storification of data

Geo-spatial technology in data collection

  • Google maps in rural areas do not project territorial markers in much detail
  • Use of remote sensing technology will enable
    • Access mapping – to nearest health/education centres, water points, etc. among others
    • Cluster mapping and correlation with cultural markers such as caste, religion and so on
    • Expedite census exercises
    • Aid policy makers, planners and local administrators to fill gaps in basic infrastructure and service provision by understanding existing topography, built area, and distribution and location of households and other physical structures

Preliminary Discussion

  • Research objectives
  • Prior work done
  • Available resources, local partners, interaction
  • With local champions/influencers to get ground
  • Level insight

Work on Survey Tool and Guides

  • Work on survey questionnaire, guides, cognitive interviews, and field training material
  • Local piloting of tools

Sampling, Field Planning and Mapping

  • Field map developed
  • Optimal team mix decided (Number of coordinators, supervisors and field workers, male/female ratios per team, prior field experience required)
  • Travel plan and timelines prepared
  • For digital surveys, devices are programmed and additional guides set up

Field Training

  • Company and team briefing, research objectives, location, team hierarchy, timelines, policies (for interviewing women/children/sensitive stakeholders) Mock trials, classroom training, review and discussions
  • Monitoring measures discussed to ensure accountability

Data Entry, Transcriptions and Submissions

  • Regular receipt of data after quality checks by supervisors, coordinators and researcher manager in charge
  • Data submitted in tranches to pick up on anomalies and discrepancies

Reporting and Analysis

  • Field notes, data and transcriptions used to draft report. Iterations done with the client to incorporate feedback
  • Final report

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Sector 43, Gurugram, Haryana – 122009


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