Study Design

We create statistically rigorous study designs that can be used to calculate the effect size, test for significance, detect prevalence levels, prove causality, and confirm the correlation. At the same time, we understand the limits of adopting only quantitative or qualitative data methods. We are big believers of a mixed-methods approach to gain an in-depth understanding of project context, track changes in knowledge, attitudes, and practices, and understand the program's strengths, simultaneously. 

We ensure our designs can suit partner expectations in terms of timelines, budget constraints, and strategy without compromising on power and quality.

Our approach puts the respondent at the center of research. We are adept at using different research tools to understand ground-level needs and inform a new or an ongoing program. Among others, these include

  • Psychometric tools

    • Including color cards 

  • Activity-based games 

    • To triangulate responses

  • Human-centered design approach & content testing

    • Showcards, images

  • Game theory to assess risk-taking 

  • Behavioral change campaigns 

    • Limericks, text, audio/visual content with better recall, word-association 

The Result: Study Designs are Efficient and Comprehensive

Outline India - What We Do

Data Collection

We believe good data is at the epicenter of good research and hence leads to better social programs.

Our processes include

  • Extensive literature reviewing and studying of other surveys and datasets

  • Iterating on surveys with partner

    • translations that are contextual and not literal 

  • Piloting surveys and cognitive testing

  • Coding on data collection platform and our own Track Your Metrics

  • Preparation of field training material 

    • Discussion around study objectives, sampling and how it will impact the community; therefore how their role is crucial 

    • Question by question guides

    • Visual guides (where applicable) - what is acceptable as a clean toilet for instance

    • Ethics, consent, emergency handling

    • Field hierarchies- team subgroups and reporting structures

Our researchers are integral to field training and are part of all field missions. The point of contact (researcher) is always part of the field mission for direct communication, conflict resolution, and ensuring better communication.  

The Result: Robust and relevant data

Outline India - What We Do

Means for Data Collection - Digital, Telephonic and Online

Collecting large volumes of data from challenging locations can be an expensive and cumbersome process. Hence, we tailor our solutions, based on what is executable. 


Our team is adept at

  • Coding extensive tools on third-party software including in local language 

    • Our preference is for our internal product Track Your Metrics since it does away with coding needs and we have complete control over the server details and in the purging of data and identifiers

  • We ensure there are audio audit features embedded together with specifying the minimum time needed to complete certain sections 


Telephonic interviews are best suited for conversations where observing body language is not important. Also, such surveys must be kept short and should allow for quick movement between sections, based on the respondent's ease.

The Covid19 pandemic led us back to some of these methods. 

  • We use software that allows us to audio audit and track which calls were taken, missed, dropped, etc 


For urban, peri-urban populations, quick responses via online surveys can be obtained. For rural populations, surveys may be shared via Track Your Metrics app or directly through a Whatsapp link. However, stakeholders may not have good internet access and it has the inherent bias of excluding women, children, and men from lower socio-economic categories. 

  • Works best to gather quick opinion from large populations

Result: Reliable and representative data

Outline India - What We Do

Impact Assessment

Impact is defined differently by each partner. 

Some target reach and quantifiable metrics on the scale and yet other programs are more drilled down, towards determining scalability, applicability, and wired around experimentation toward better social outcomes.

  • We have worked on multi-country programs in the past 

  • We have been the India lead for variants of the same program running in different countries or have worked alongside our partners to adapt with them 

  • Working on studies through their lifecycle, base, mid and end-line assessments 

We have worked on 

  • Needs and formative assessments

  • RCTs, LQAS, quasi-experimental studies

  • Due diligence when baseline datasets were absent

  • Dipsticks for actionable insights

  • Ethnographies  

  • Qualitative assessments 

  • Video documentation

  • Process documentation 

  • Summative evaluations 

Result: Figuring stakeholder needs from their point of view and within the ambit of their existing structures

Outline India - What We Do

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

It can be hard to assess the impact of an intervention, to understand its utility, track, or monitor it. 

Our evaluations don’t just measure, they seek to improve.

As specialists in monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), we are skilled at -

  • Identifying indicators that enhance accountability and efficacy and enable course correction. Our monitoring and evaluation frameworks are designed with your target beneficiaries in mind. 

  • We work closely with you to understand what ‘success’ means to you and HELP define success matrices log frames and in building out your theory of change 

The Result: Enabling course correction, bottleneck identification and fixing

Outline India - What We Do

Proof that your work is making an Impact

To certain partners, this could be defined as increased uptake of government farm subsidies, a fall in birth rates, reduction in the incidence of TB, or better access to markets to sell local artwork or cotton.

However, to many others, this could mean

  • More time spent with children for families

  • Greater say in financial matters for women

  • Preference for environmentally safer agricultural practices 

We observe, study, track, measure, quantify, and qualify your work from a third-party point of view bearing in mind your macro and micro-level goals. 

The Result: A few steps towards changing the world for the better

Outline India - What We Do

Our Impact

As a social enterprise, we are committed to making an impact. Here's how:

Build Demand For Data

The Development Sector prides itself on evidence-driven decision making, but there’s little knowledge of what makes robust evidence. We are champions of good data collection in India, working to educate and build demand for stronger evidence in the sector.
Here’s a look at what we are doing:

  • Deriving and promoting a rubric for Data Quality.
  • Documenting our experiences and lessons through Cautionary Tales.
  • Publishing and disseminating writings on Data Quality. See our Publications here.
  • Build an environment to share learnings and critically reflect upon challenges in high-quality Data collection, M&E, and Social Sector Research by holding Data Conferences.

Improve Interventions

Our clients work hard to create an impact and improve the lives of those that they intend to help. OI provides strong, reliable and accurate data coupled with an astute analysis that captures our Clients' impact and sheds light on the context of their work, alongside.

Field Capacity Building

The countless hours invested by our field workers in remote, sometimes hostile areas to gather the best possible data, are foundational to our Research. OI believes in building their skills further and giving them opportunities. Get to know our hardworking field team here

Here’s what we are doing:

  • Building strong and diverse teams of field workers with contextual, regional as well as research familiarity by teaching them the basics of research.
  • Giving research opportunities to the marginalized groups like women.
  • Systemizing the inclusion of enumerator perceptions in the research findings.
  • Updating field protocols to have them informed from the field and existing practices, both at the same time.

Democratizing Data

Ethically responsible research obligates us to consider how our data collection process impacts the respondents. We work to empower respondents by making data collection meaningful for them.
Here’s how we are doing it:

  • Asking the right questions by creating tools that are informed by the respondent’s context through comprehensive pre-tests.
  • Advocating for the dissemination of research to respondents.
  • Avoiding the replication of data collection efforts and advocating for responsible data collection by informing our clients about building India's map.
  • Championing ethical data collection by setting up an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Empowering cash-strapped organizations to gain insights from respondents through our self-evaluation app - TYM.

Researcher Capacity Building

Researchers at OI work tirelessly, with a passion to get strong data and are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to Innovative Research. OI creates a space where our team can display and amplify their skillset. 
Here’s how we are doing it:

  • Building an environment for Research, Critical Thinking, Knowledge sharing, and Skill sharing by holding internal and external Quality Workshops.
  • Advocating for the dissemination of Research to the Respondents.
  • Maintaining a culture of Reflexivity, Transparency, and Introspection by conducting regular Impact Meetings.

Our Work

Social Marketing Experiment to Conduct a Market As...


The World Bank





Outline India supported the World Bank to conduct a social-marketing study in order to understand the demand-side constraints and opportunities for a specific nutrition-focused product, named Wheatamix, and services rela... Read More

Scoping Study To Build A Business Case For LINK Fu...


The LINK Fund




Livelihood, Gender

LINK-US negotiated an MOU with the Government of Odisha. The MOU aimed at forming forward linkages of SHGs to public procurement systems or large businesses and/or access to enterprise networks. At the request of the S... Read More

A qualitative study to understand the efficacy of...


Happy Creative Services Pvt. Ltd





Outline India conducted a qualitative study to understand the efficacy of the kit in spreading messages about safe sanitation and hand-washing habits and suggest improvements that could be made to the kit by administerin... Read More

To Study the Impact of RTE EWS Quota in Private Sc...


University of Maryland





Outline India collaborated with a researcher from the University of Maryland to study the impact of RTE EWS quota in private schools on maternal aspirations and perceived returns to education. A quantitative survey was c... Read More


Subscribe to our newsletter