In some survey research settings, it may be not attainable or optimal to interview individual respondents without involving bystanders or third parties in the interview. Due to complex living circumstances or group culture, respondents may be helped by others in answering questions. However, this involvement of third parties raises questions about data quality and poses a challenge to the data collection process. Recognizing this, a natural field experiment was embedded in an urban resettlement study in the Philippines that allowed for spontaneous third-party help during certain parts of the interview. Using an event history calendar, data were gathered on numbers (of household-related transitions), names (of community leaders), and dates (years of public services). Quality of data was assessed and compared for the “with help” and “without help” conditions. The results showed that third-party help did not negatively affect data quality but rather improved it for most issues.
Quetulio-Navarra, M., van der Vaart, W., & Niehof, A. (2015). Can third-party help improve data quality in research interviews? A natural experiment in a hard-to-study population. Field Methods, 27(4), 426-440. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X15572096