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Assignment on

Problems of Sampling
In North West Frontier
Province

BY

IMRAN AHMAD SAJID


M.Phil/PhD-1st semester
Session: 2009

Submitted To:

Dr. Amirzada Asad


Chairman
Department of Social Work
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
WORK
UNIVERSITYOF PESHAWAR
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
All praises to ALLAH, the most Merciful, Kind, and Beneficent, and source
of all Knowledge, Wisdom within and beyond our comprehension. all
respects and possible tributes goes to our Holly Profit MUHAMMAD
(Swal Allaho Alaihy Wasallam), who is forever guidance and
knowledge for all human beings on this earth.

Thanks to Dr. Amirzada Asad, Chairman Social Work department, and


the course instructor, who has contributed enthusiasm, support, sound
advice, particularly his supportive attitude was always a source of
motivation for me. He guided me in a polite and cooperative manner at
every step.

I am also in debt to all those writers who has written such informative and
thought provoking books and other material.

Imran Ahmad Sajid

i
SUMMARY
Sampling is very frequently used in researchers for half the century.
Sampling is carried out in order to save time, energy and cost by studying
only a part of a given population. Probability and non-probability are the
major sampling methods. But sampling is not an easy task to perform and
when it is in 3rd world poor countries taking out sampling procedures is
similar to chewing iron bean. In this assignment report some of the
problems faced by the samplers in the province of NWFP are discussed.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................................................................... ........i
SUMMARY................................................................................................ ...............ii
Introduction ..........................................................................................................1
A.Key Concepts.................................................................................... ..................1
I.Element.............................................................................. ..............................1
II.Population......................................................................................... ...............1
III.Universe................................................................................................... .......1
IV.Sampling Frame..............................................................................................2
V.Sample.................................................................................................... .........2
VI.Representative Sample............................................................................. ......2
VII.Sampling Bias............................................................................... .................2
B.Why Sample....................................................................................................... .2
C.Methods of Sampling..........................................................................................3
1.Probability Sampling .......................................................................................3
1.1.Simple Random Sampling .........................................................................4
1.2.Systematic Sampling ................................................................................5
1.3.Stratified Sampling....................................................................................6
1.4.Cluster Sampling/ Area Sampling..............................................................6
1.5.Multistage Sampling..................................................................................7
2.Non-Probability / Purposive Sampling..............................................................7
2.1.Accidental Sampling..................................................................................8
2.2.Quota Sampling.........................................................................................8
2.3.Purposive Sampling...................................................................................8
2.4.Snowball Sampling....................................................................................9
D.PROBLEMS OF SAMPLING IN NWFP.....................................................................9
1.Resources Limitation.......................................................................................9
2.Inadequate Sampling Frame..........................................................................10
3.Problem of Language.....................................................................................11
4.Refusal................................................................................................. ..........11
5.Size of Sample............................................................................. ..................12
6.Problems in Area Sampling............................................................................12
7.Problems of Generalization............................................................................12
8.Lack of Training on Research Methods...........................................................13
E.Conclusion........................................................................................................13
BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................................................................................................14
Books.................................................................................................... ............14
Internet Source............................................................................... ..................14
Introduction
Last year in 2008, 2 of my friends, Subhan & Kamran, have conducted a
research thesis, for MA degree, on “role of PBM in poverty alleviation”.
They went to PBM Head office NWFP in order to obtain a sampling frame
of PBM beneficiaries. They found that the list either was incomplete and
not up-to-date or the addresses of the beneficiaries given in the register
were not accurate. This and lots of other problems the researchers face in
NWFP when they are going to sample their population and collect data.
This assignment is dedicated to finding out the problems associated with
the sampling in NWFP. We will clarify some key concepts used frequently
in sampling and then will move on to types of sampling and then for the
problems of sampling in NWFP.

We need to be familiar with some key concepts frequently used in


sampling debates.

A. Key Concepts
I. Element
An element is the smallest unit or part of a population capable of
possessing a particular characteristic.

II. Population
Population is a well defined set of elements.1 It consists of all the units or
elements in which we are interested. For example all the pharmaceutical
industries in Peshawar according to the list maintained by labour
directorate, all the hotels in Nathiagali as listed in a tourist directory etc,
constitute populations.2

III. Universe
All individuals, events, groups or wholes, under investigation are known as
the universe. For instance all the cattle in a village, all the house owners
of Peshawar, all the hotels in Nathiagali, all the Motor Rakshas in
1
Nigel, Gilbert. (2001). Researching Social Life. 2nd Ed. London: Sage Publications. P. 59.
2
Jespal Singh. (2007). Methodology and Techniques of Social Research. New Delhi:
Kanishka Publishers. P. 249.

1
Peshawar etc. these are the universes of their respective populations. 3 In
actual practice there are gaps between given universe and its population.

IV. Sampling Frame


A sampling frame is a list of the members of the population under
investigation and is used to select the sample. 4

V. Sample
As the name implies, a sample is a smaller representative of the larger
whole. 5
a sample is the part of population selected for the study, in the
belief that it represents the most, if not all, the characteristics of the
population. If the researcher has no belief in its representativeness then it
is not a sample.

VI. Representative Sample


A representative sample is one which looks like the population, from which
it was selected, in all respects that are potentially relevant to study.6 If a
sample is not representative of its population then it will be considered as
biased sample.

VII. Sampling Bias


Sampling bias means the tendency to reject the logic of rational evidence
in favour of presumed beliefs. If a set of figures is such that all its
indicators tend to lie in the same directions, it is biased. 7

B. Why Sample
When we are going to conduct research we take sample with the following
objectives in mind;

• To save time
• To save energy of the researcher
• To minimize the expenditure or cost

3
Jespal Singh. (2007). Op.Cit. p. 248.
4
Nigel, Gilbert. (2001). Op.Cit. p. 60.
5
Iqbal Saif. (1984). Basics of Research Process. D.I.Khan: Sultan Printing Press. P. 99.
6
Russel, K. Schutt. (1999). Investigating Social World: The process & Practice of
Research. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. P. 110.
7
Jespal Singh. (2007). Op.Cit. p. 263.

2
But remember that it should not be at the cost of reliability or validity of
the research results. Our aim is to get a complete picture of the whole
universe by studying only a part of it. 8

These were some basic concepts which are frequently used in sampling
designs. Now how sample is selected?. There are two methods for
selecting a sample. You either select is by chance or by choice. They are
called probability and non-probability sampling respectively. A detailed
discussion is needed on this topic.

C. Methods of Sampling
There are two types of sampling methods viz probability sampling and
non-probability or purposive sampling. Probability Sampling is where
every individual element in a population is chosen at random and has a
known non-zero or equal chance of selection. Therefore the selection
process is predetermined and once the units have been selected the goal
is to collect data from them all. 9

In Non-Probability or Purposive Sampling the chance of selection for each


element in population is unknown and for some elements is zero.
Probability sampling is non-judgmental, purposive sampling is judgmental.
10

Each of these methods of sample selection has their respective types or


techniques of sample selection which needs elaboration here.

1. Probability Sampling

Probability is a statistical terminology. It is the proportion of times that a


particular outcome may be expected to occur out of many repetitions of
the event. For example we flip a coin, the probability of getting a head or
tail is one time. Usually the probability is expressed as decimal fraction

8
Iqbal, A. Bhatti. (2007). Elementary Statistics. Lahore: Bhatti Publishers. P. 282.
9
Nigel, Gilbert. (2001). Op.Cit. p. 61
10
Ibid.

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from 0 to 1. Zero indicates that the event will not occur at all, 1 indicates
that the event will occur certainly. 11

Probability sampling is the process of sample selection in which elements


are chosen by chance method such as flipping coins, drawing number
balls from a bowl or throwing a dice etc. there are several types of
probability sampling but all share a common trait, i.e. the selection of
units for the sample is carried out by chance procedures and with known
probabilities of selection. 12

The following types are there in probability sampling;

• Simple random sampling

• Systematic sampling

• Stratified sampling

• Cluster or area sampling

• Multistage sampling

1.1. Simple Random Sampling

Briefly denoted as SRS, simple random sampling is the most common and
familiar type of probability sampling. It is the selection at random. The
elements are selected randomly but note that the selection is not
haphazard. It is random. For simplicity we draw sample through Lottery
method, Tippet number method or through computer generated
randomization.

The essential condition for SRS is that you must have a sampling frame.
Without sampling frame, simple random sampling can not be drawn. In
lottery method each element in population is assigned a number and the
11
Zari Rafiqu. (2007). Research Methods in Social Sciences. Peshawar: Unpublished book.
P. 160.
12
Ibid.

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numbers are written on separate slips or chits. All the slips are put into a
hat or drum and the required amount of ample is drawn from it.13 The
tippet number is a table of random numbers developed by a statistician
Tippet, through this table random sample can be drawn. But today the
computer generated randomization is the easiest and the faster method
of generating simple random sample.

1.2. Systematic Sampling

Undoubtedly the systematic sampling is the most widely known


modification of simple random sampling. In this method the first element
is selected randomly and the rest get selected automatically.

First the population size “N” is divided by the required amount of sample
size “n” to yield the sampling interval “F”. Then the first element is
selected through simple random sampling-lottery method, tippet number
method etc. after the selection of the first element every Fth element is
selected in the sampling frame thereafter.

Example:

Population Size N=150.

Sample Size n=15. Therefore

Sampling Interval=150/15= 10.

Now select the first element randomly which e.g. is 83. Now select every
10th element after 83. i.e. 93, 103, 113, 123, 133, 143, 3, 13, 23, 33, 43,
53, 63, 73.

Systematic sampling is also called Regular Interval Sampling due to the


regular interval occurring in this method.

13
Ibid.

5
1.3. Stratified Sampling

Stratification means making groups within population. The word strata has
been derived in social sciences from Geology which means Layers of rocks
or atmosphere. In social sciences strata means a group of population.

If the population is not homogeneous, randomization will yield biased


results. Therefore we use stratified sampling in which population is first
divided into separate sub-populations or strata. After strata are formed a
separate sample is drawn from each strata through randomization.

For example your population consists of 60 male and 40 female elements


and you want to draw a sample of 10. If you select the sample randomly
there is very likely a chance that all the members included in sample may
happen to be all Males or all females. Therefore we stratify the population
and select elements from each strata. i.e. 6 males and 4 females.

The benefit of stratification is that the more you stratify the more you
stratify the more you reduce the bias, the more you randomize the more
you reduce the bias.

1.4. Cluster Sampling/ Area Sampling

Sometimes it is not feasible to attempt to prepare a list of every person


living within a particular area and from that list to select a sample for
study.14 In such cases we use cluster sampling. In cluster sampling the
population is first divided into cluster i.e. units containing several sample
elements. After the clusters have been formed, a sample of clusters is
drawn from total group of clusters. The sample will consist of all the
elements contained in the selected cluster.

Area sampling is a modified form of cluster sampling in which maps are


used to form clusters and then select the sample. Cluster sampling brings
down cost and facilitates data collection. It also helps in minimizing
sampling bias.

14
Iqbal Saif. (1984). Basics of Research Process. D.I.Khan: Sultan Printing Press. P. 104

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Like stratification, clustering also improves the sampling design. The
difference between stratification and clustering is simple. In stratified
sampling sample is taker from within each stratum but in cluster sampling
all the elements within a selected cluster are included in sample. Strata is
homogeneous, cluster is heterogeneous.

1.5. Multistage Sampling

In multistage sampling the sample is selected in different stages and


different types of sampling are used in different stages. Generally
stratification and clustering is done at first stage and randomization at the
second stage. For example we may select National Assembly circles at the
first stage and provincial and district circles at second stage etc.

2. Non-Probability / Purposive Sampling

Non-probability sampling is also called judgmental or purposive sampling.


It is a method of selecting a sample in which the choice of selection of
sampling elements depends entirely on the discretion or judgment of the
sampler. The investigator inspects the entire population and selects a
sample of typical units which he considers close to the average
population. This method provides a lot of freedom to the investigator in
the inclusion or exclusion of a sampling unit. But the disadvantage is that
we can not obtain any valid estimate of risk of error involved.

But it does not mean that non-probability sampling is never appropriate,


sometimes it yields more representative results then probability method.
15

This method has following types;

• Accidental sampling

• Quota sampling

15
Zari Rafiq. (2007). Research Methods in Social Sciences. Peshawar: Unpublished book.
P. 170

7
• Purposive sampling

• Snowball sampling

This needs a brief elaboration.

2.1. Accidental Sampling

This is also called incidental, convenience, availability or voluntary


sampling. These are the different names used for this sampling technique.
In this type of sampling any person who is available and is a typical of the
universe is included in the sample. The most common type is standing in
the public, in railway station, at a super market and asking who ever
seems relevant.

2.2. Quota Sampling

It is the proportionate selection of items, i.e. cases are selected for sample
on the basis of a quota system. The researcher has information about a
distribution of certain characteristics which are believed to be related to
the research at hand, within the population it is possible to establish quota
for their inclusion in the sample.

There is an ambiguity that what is the difference between stratified


sampling and quota sampling? This is still unclear even to the experts in
this field.

2.3. Purposive Sampling

This is the total selection. You select those elements which fulfills your
purpose. This type allows us to select our sample for study under a
purpose, i.e. we have to predetermine that a particular group is important
to us. e.g. “health problems of rural married women”. For this topic we will
select women, who are married, and from rural areas. This is purposive
sampling.

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2.4. Snowball Sampling

Snowball or network sampling is used when there is no adequate list to


use as a sampling frame. It is a method for obtaining samples of
numerically small groups, such as minorities, illegal drug users etc. it
involves contacting a member of the population to be studied and asking
him/her whether they know anyone else with the required characteristics.
The nominated individuals are interviewed in turn and asked to identify
further sample members. This continues until the desired numbers or
when no further member is available. 16

Till this point we have been discussing what sampling is and how sample
can be selected but in NWFP selecting sample is not that easy task.
Numerous problems are involved in sample selection in NWFP.

D.PROBLEMS OF SAMPLING IN NWFP

Sampling is an essential part of quantitative research but it isn’t an easy


task. However, when we talk about sampling in 3rd world poor countries
and a poor province of NWFP, sampling is a much more difficult task and
enormous problems are there in sampling procedures and designs in this
province.

We are going to discuss some of them here in the following lines.

1. Resources Limitation

This is the first problem which strikes a sampler in NWFP. The limitation of
resources is not only true for NWFP but for the entire Pakistan and even
the entire 3rd world countries. A sample is required to be selected through
an optimum design which is a basic aspect in sampling. In developed
countries a sampler has a variety of sampling designs at his disposal. He
can choose random sampling design, clustering, stratified or any other
design which seems most optimum to him according to the research. He

16
Nigel, Gilbert. (2001). Researching Social Life. 2nd Ed. London: Sage Publications. P. 63

9
chooses a sampling design not due to resources limitation but to the
requirement imposed by optimum philosophy.

In NWFP, however, a sampler does not have this freedom of choosing a


sampling design. He has no, or very little, alternative designs at his
disposal. His choice of sampling design is limited by resources available at
hand. For example if a sampler chooses a cluster sampling design here in
NWFP, e is driven, not by optimum philosophy, but by the resources
available. He has no proper sampling frame or he lacks other basic
information that is why he resorts to cluster sampling which is more
practical in NWFP. 17

So the resources limitation is a basic problem in sampling in NWFP.

2. Inadequate Sampling Frame

This is the second problems faced by the samplers. A sampling frame is a


list of all the names and addresses in a population. For instance voters list
in an electoral constituency, a patwari’s record of landholdings,
attendance register in a school,18 customers list of warid telecom etc. as
mentioned at the beginning the sampling frames in NWFP are often non-
existent or inadequate. The census is held every 10 years normally. It is an
essential condition of a good sampling frame that it should be up-to-date.
The record of 1998 can not be used for 2008 or 09 as it becomes out
dated but our problem here in NWFP is that the available sampling frames
is out dated and not to date. This is one problem. 2ndly the names and
addresses mentioned are often inappropriate and the duplication of
elements also occurs. 3rdly there is no record of those who has left an
area and those who has come to live here. These are some problems
related to sampling frame which exists here in NWFP. You never get a
complete and to date sampling frame and you have to rely upon what is

17
Slobodan S. Zarkovich. (1960). Some problems of sampling work in underdeveloped
countries. In Martin, Bulmer., & Donald, P. Warwick. (Edt. 2000). Social Research in
Developing Countries: Surveys and Censuses in the Third World. London: Routledge. P.
101
18
Jespal Singh. (2007). Methodology and Techniques of Social Research. New Delhi:
Kanishka Publishers. P. 264.

10
available. Therefore this inadequacy of sampling frame causes bias in
results.

3. Problem of Language

This is the 3rd problem which samplers face when he has chosen a person
and then go to him/her to collect data from him/her. The language of
majority people here is Pushto and Hindko. Only a small number of people
understand Urdu language and even much smaller number understands
English language. Our problem is that the research methodology taught
and questionnaires made, are in English language. A sampler prepares
questionnaire or interview schedule and then at the time of interview he
has to convert its wording into Pushto or Hindko language. Now for
converting interview schedule from English to Pushto/Hindko the sampler
has to choose those words which are easily understandable to the
interviewee. The sampler must find the shared vocabulary between him
and the interviewee in order to get valid data.

Now this problem of mutual language and shared vocabulary is here in


NWFP and this create some inbuilt bias in the sample selected.

4. Refusal

Refusal is the 4th big problem for the sampler in NWFP. The people in NWFP
and Pukhtoons particularly are conservative in their outlook. They are not
easy to be interviewed. People often refuse to get interviewed due to lack
of trust and variety of other reasons. Some of the respondents may
answer some questions but refuse to answer other more personal
questions. Furthermore a male sampler can not collect data from a female
respondent in NWFP.

In case of refusal the sampler will choose another respondent for data
collection but this will create bias in sampling.

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5. Size of Sample

Sample size refers to the number of elements covered by a sample. Most


of the researchers have said that a sample should be 15-20% of its said
population. But in NWFP even this number of sample is very difficult to
choose for study. The reason is simple. It’s the lack of resources due to
which samplers in NWFP can not collect data from 20% respondents and
sample covered often is 3-5% of its population. There is a lack of such
organizations who support the researchers in their research.

Due to the smaller sample size bias may creep in results and this can not
be generalized on the whole population.

6. Problems in Area Sampling

Area sampling is a modified form of cluster sampling in which maps are


used for forming clusters. But the problem is that we don’t have proper
maps of most of the areas. The maps available do not often provide
satisfactory information. Further there is no clear demarcation where one
village begins and the other ends. This ambiguity further creates problem
in cluster making.

7. Problems of Generalization

NWFP is a province with diverse ethnic groups dominated by Pukhtoons,


followed by Hindkowans. The chitral and Kalash regions have their own
ethnicity and culture much different from main land NWFP. This lack of
homogeneity causes problems for samplers. The results of one district can
not be generalized on the entire province. Even within Peshawar City, the
capital of NWFP, the information gathered from Pukhtoons can not be
generalized on Hindkowans-the 2nd major ethnic group in the City. So this
diversity of the NWFP, cultural and geographical as well, creates problems
in sampling.

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8. Lack of Training on Research Methods

Although the courses on research methods are offered in universities of


the province and a student is required to produce a research thesis in
order to be qualified for an M.A/M.Sc degree. Yet the practical aspect of
sampling is not given due consideration. The sampling designs and
procedures often involve delicate statistical work but students of the
social sciences lack statistical knowledge. Therefore they face a significant
amount of problem when sampling and making inferences.

These were some of the problems which the researchers face here in
NWFP.

E. Conclusion

Sampling is an important part of research. Selecting the sample-not only


sample but representative sample-is very necessary for the validity of
your data. If your sample do not represents the opinion of its population
then it is biased and not reliable. The NWFP is a poor province of a 3rd
world poor country. Resources for samplers are not satisfactory. The
researchers when sampling face numerous problems-some of them have
been mentioned here in the above lines. Despite these problems the
researchers are making their efforts and trying to find out the more
representative samples through some new methods. The methods used in
the developed countries are not applicable here. The researchers have to
work hard to and do some creative work in order to overcome the
problems of sampling. Lesser the sampling problems the more
representative your sample is, the more representative your sample is the
more valid and reliable your research will be.

13
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books
Ansari, S. (Edt 1963). Social Research in National Development. Peshawar:
Pakistan Academy for Rural Development.

Babbie , E. (2005). The Basics of Social Research. 3rd Ed. Toronto: Thomson
Wadsworth Inc.

Bhatti , I. A. (2007). Elementary Statistics. Lahore: Bhatti Publishers.

Gilbert, N. (2001). Researching Social Life. 2nd Ed. London: Sage


Publications.

Rafiq , Z. (2007). Research Methods in Social Sciences. Peshawar:


Unpublished book.

Saif, I. (1984). Basics of Research Process. D.I.Khan: Sultan Printing Press.

Schutt , R. K. (1999). Investigating Social World: The process & Practice of


Research. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Singh, J. (2007). Methodology and Techniques of Social Research. New


Delhi: Kanishka Publishers.

Singh, Y. K. (2005). Research Methodology. New Delhi: APH Publishing


Corporation.

Zarkovich , S. S. (1960). Some problems of sampling work in


underdeveloped countries. In Martin, Bulmer., & Donald, P. Warwick. (Edt.
2000). Social Research in Developing Countries: Surveys and Censuses in
the Third World. London: Routledge Publishing Inc.

Internet Source

Hunt, N., & Tyrrell, S.(2001). Discuss Sampling Methods. Coventry


University. Coventry: UK. Retrieved 21-07-09 from
http://www.coventry.ac.uk/ec/~nhunt/meths/introd.html

14
Trochim, M.K. W. (2006). Probability Sampling. Retrieved 22 July 2009 from
http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampprob.php

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