Panel data collection is key to effective implementation of programmes, said Director of Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, S. Galab on Saturday.

He was speaking on ‘Panel Analysis -- Research Method’ attended by social science research scholars drawn from across Andhra Pradesh as part of a 10-day workshop on “Research Methodology Course in Social Sciences” organised by Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Southern Regional Centre (SRC), in association with the city-based PVP Siddhartha Institute of Technology (PVPSIT).

Mr. Galab cited examples of populist programmes such as Indira Kranthi Padhakam, designed by the Government to attack poverty by social mobilisation, establishment of institutions like self-help groups at the grassroots level, nurturing and capacitating them besides facilitating bank linkage through micro finance.

“Panel data is key to implement such programmes,” he said.

Throwing light on methodological issues relating to panel data collection, he explained about selection of sample and data collection at various time periods. Referring to surveys conducted by the CESS, he explained in details about the several practical problems confronted by the participants in their field trips. He also gave tips on use of methods to reduce the response errors.

In the interactive session that followed, replying to a query, he dealt at length on difference between qualitative and quantitative research. “Foundations of the two are different but somewhere they meet,” he said, adding that to resolve some problems, it was necessary to integrate qualitative and quantitative research.