The use of OPA for assessing the needs of vulnerable citizens
Computer-Assisted-Interviewing (CAI) refers to the way in which computers can be used in the development and administering of survey questionnaires rather than using a paper questionnaire.
CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) is used when administering a questionnaire face-to-face. The questions are read from the screen by the interviewer and responses are entered in to designated fields. It has been classified as a personal interviewing technique because an interviewer is usually present to serve as a host and to guide the respondent.
CASI (Computer Assisted Self Interviewing) is used particularly when questions are of a sensitive nature, such as crime and offending or sexual behaviour and attitudes. Respondents are given the device and are able to enter their responses themselves. The validity of the responses are thought to increase, as respondents are more likely to give truthful answers as the interviewer cannot see what is being entered.
Monad Solutions has been working closely with a UK based housing authority to develop guided Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) interview sessions to assist support workers conducting client support needs assessments. The product of the interview is a detailed support plan, including specific achievable tasks, used to assist clients become more self-sufficient.
The initial use case was that the support worker would conduct the interview, reading the questions and capturing clientsâ€™ responses but dependent on the support worker and the clientâ€™s comfort with technology the support worker and client should have the scope to sit side-by-side and either person to answer the questions making the support plan creation a more collaborative process.
The three key areas that Monad focused on when developing the guided interviews were:
Due to the size and geographic distribution of the organisation a single standardised interview was required to ensure that the consistent and correct support was being offered to all clients. It also ensured that only relevant information was being captured about the client, which could be used effectively to create support plans and highlight any gaps in the care and support services offered to clients. The OPA interview was deployed using Oracle Web Determinations (OWD) which allowed the support workers to access the interview from a laptop or tablet in locations which are convenient and comfortable for clients.
Many of the clients also had mental and physical disabilities, low levels of education and exposure to technology. This required that the interviews be simple and easy to follow. OPAâ€™s intelligent interview flows were used to only ask relevant questions based on clientsâ€™ needs and any previous answers which increased time to completion. OPAâ€™s built-in accessibility guidelines and high level of screen customisation options were used to provide simple screen layouts with help text, courteous error messages and the option of using diagrams to further illustrate questions. Colourful screens and on-screen stimuli were included to add to the respondent’s interest and involvement in the task.
Previously the organisation had been using a lengthy paper based system only. It was the responsibility of the support worker to maintain these documents and manually create the support plans. This meant the same data had to be repetitively copied to multiple pages which was time consuming and provided no backup, archive or analysis capabilities of the documents. By integrating OPA with eBusiness Suite this data automatically creates task lists and assigns a responsible party to them. The data is also backed up centrally and can be analysed across the organisation to provide better country-wide support and identify where specialised support skills need to be focused.
No matter how careful the preparation of the questionnaire there were occasions when interviewers struggled to fit a respondent’s answer into its structure. Free format text fields were also included to allow the support workers to define non-standard tasks or to capture any notes or comments about the interview and the client providing a much more complete interview and holistic support plan.