CollectSmart Survey Management and Response Tools

The North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) has over 10 years of experience implementing our cluster sampling methods throughout North Carolina and neighboring states.

Collect SMART, The Survey Management and Response Tool is a suite of software designed to help users manage and implement data collection efforts, including CASPER methods.  We developed this tool to be accessible and functional with mobile devices, giving users powerful, real-time data collection and analysis tools at their fingertips.

A project manager can access Collect SMART to select their random sample of clusters and then upload this as spatial data to their Android based tablets or smartphones installed with the Collect SMART app.  Data is stored securely on the cloud and can be analyzed in real-time by the project manager.  Collect SMART is an efficient and cost-effective solution for obtaining high quality, representative data to assist local health departments with data collection projects, including community health needs assessments and pre/post disaster assessments.

What is Collect SMART?

NCIPH collaborated with health departments and their community and hospital partners to design, develop and pilot test an easy-to-use mobile app and project management dashboard to facilitate field data collection efforts. Collect SMART allows for the rapid collection of community-level data for decision makers based on valid sampling methods, improving the timeliness of data collection while reducing the cost of purchasing or maintaining mapping or data collection software and equipment.

Collect SMART includes:

  • Mobile app: software app for use on Android tablets and phones, integrated with CDC’s mobile Epi InfoTM, and includes cloud-based storage for added data security
  • Project management dashboard: website that provides cluster sample selection using U.S. Census spatial data, survey team tracking, and real-time data analysis widgets
  • Trainings: NCIPH developed the Collect SMART user manual, an introduction to CASPER online training, and just-in-time training materials for field teams and project managers
Project Management Tool--Just-in-Time Training--Mobile App


Collect SMART Launch

NCIPH’s Collect SMART is currently in beta testing. Sign up HERE if you would like to learn more about how you can start using the Collect SMART tools during this initial release.

Resources Available Now

Advantages with CASPER

The door-to-door CASPER method has many advantages over other primary data collections methods, including:

Generalizability. Allows "whole community" participation
Speed. Collected and processed in several days
Data quality. Higher response rates, more complete data
Cost. Reduces travel and administrative costs
Community awareness and health education. Increased awareness and outreach materials

More about CASPER sampling method

To collect primary data, NCIPH uses an epidemiologic door-to-door sampling method called CASPER, Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response. Originally developed by CDC and WHO, CASPER can be used to quickly obtain a snapshot of health needs and concerns for decision makers. CASPER can also be used for routine data collection, offering many advantages over other methods.

CASPER divides populations of interest into randomly-selected geographically distinct clusters (such as census blocks). Within the clusters, a random sample of households is selected to be interviewed. This method has been validated for rapid assessments and the estimation of population-level health needs (producing valid and precise estimates of +/-10%).