Privacy in Survey Interview Settings: Results from a Randomized Experiment
Rukmalie Jayakody, Pennsylvania State University
Maintaining privacy during survey interviews in remote, rural areas is challenging. House construction is often open and closed off spaces are scarce. Additionally, the novelty and curiosity about the survey brings many onlookers. While challenges to privacy are readily acknowledged, little is known about the implications this has on respondent answers. To better understand the impacts of privacy, we conducted a randomized experiment in a remote, rural area of Vietnam. The Rural Village Life Survey was conducted in two villages selected from commune records to be socio-economically similar. In VillageA (n=289), interviewers conducted in the respondent’s house. Although interviewers were instructed to maintain privacy, onlookers were present. In VillageB (n=265), respondents were invited to come to a cordoned off area where we could keep onlookers out and assure privacy during the interview. We compare responses in the two villages to better understand the impacts of privacy.