MCC Evaluation Microdata Management Checklist

  • Read full MCC Evaluation Microdata Management Guidelines.
  • Complete training on the protection of human subjects. There is a free, online course available through NIH.
  • Define what data needs to be collected, why, and what promises of confidentiality are required. If PII is not needed, it should not be collected; if data being collected is already publicly available, confidentiality doesn’t need to be promised (usually).
  • Submit research protocol to IRB. Evaluator must submit research protocol that covers the entire evaluation period—whether by multiple submissions to the IRB or annual renewals—to a registered Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Review Informed Consent template and adapt as needed. MCC has approved an informed consent template for quantitative data collection. MCC recognizes the final statement must be reviewed and cleared by the Evaluator’s IRB.
  • Ensure proper storage and disposal of paper-based questionnaires. Once microdata is double-entered and verified, paper-based questionnaires should be destroyed (shredded or burned).
  • Ensure proper storage and transfer of electronic microdata. This includes: encrypting data files; password protection on data systems and data encryption; and requiring relevant stakeholders to sign non-disclosure agreements. As per MCC OCIO standards, the end point encryption software should meet AES-256 encryption standards or above. In MCC, all evaluation microdata is stored in DPE Data.
  • Upon completion of Evaluation Design Report (EDR), establish Evaluation Catalog entry and post public-use evaluation documents as cleared. All final versions of documents—EDRs, baseline reports, etc—should be reviewed for risks they pose to re-identification and revised as necessary for public-use. This may require removing the list of specific village names sampled for the survey from the public use document(s). To create the Catalog entry, consult with the M&E Project Manager for your evaluation. All documents must be Section 508 compliant.
  • Determine when evaluation microdata rounds need to be prepared for public-use/restricted-access use. MCC’s preference is for ALL rounds of data to be prepared together in one de-identified package to ensure data de-identification efforts are consistently applied across rounds, and early release of rounds does not compromise de-identification efforts in future rounds. However, this must be determined on a case-by-case basis based on demand and contract requirements.
  • Consider and document de-identification strategy early. De-identification efforts often require data permutations – such as suppression of specific variables’ values, including, top and bottom coding, conversion of continuous variables to categorical or removal of any identifiable variation. Even if microdata does not need to be submitted to MCC until ALL data arounds are completed, the Evaluator should consider their de-identification strategy early and prior to analysis and document it in the DRB Data Package Worksheet for each round.
  • For each data collection round, Evaluator should submit data documentation package. Upon completion of a data collection round (baseline, interim(s), final), the Evaluator should submit the survey materials (informed consent, questionnaire(s), updates to the metadata, etc) and the completed DRB Data Package Worksheet to MCC as deliverables.  
  • There is a multi-stage process for data review and release:
    1. Evaluator and M&E PM should agree on expected DRB review date as early as possible to confirm scheduling in line with Evaluator contract and work plan. This should be scheduled at least one month before Evaluator’s contract expires given potential required follow-up after DRB.
    2. Evaluator should submit full package to M&E PM. M&E PM should review Metadata and DRB Data Package Worksheet for clarity and completeness. This may require one round of revision based on the M&E PM requests for clarity and completeness.
    3. Evaluator should submit full package to M&E PM. M&E PM and the M&E DRB members should establish a first-round review and feedback to the Evaluator on the proposed data de-identification process. This may require a second round of revision to the package.
    4. Evaluator should submit full package to M&E PM for the confirmed MCC DRB review date at least 2 weeks prior to confirmed DRB review date. Open Data Analyst will save in S:DPE Data.
    5. If any feedback/revisions are required following MCC DRB review, Evaluator should revise and resubmit full package to M&E PM with documented responses to MCC DRB feedback to ensure timely virtual review and clearance of the full package. All final de-identification efforts and their impact on verification of analysis should be documented in the Evaluator’s Transparency Statement available on the Evaluation Catalog.