Recovering interviews deleted from a tablet

Dear SuSo team,

It is possible to retrieve information on surveys deleted that were started on interviewer and then deleted from the tablet without ever being uploaded to the server? I assume it’s not but we would appreciate your help with retrieving any and all information about such cases.

For a bit of context, we have some experimentation embedded into our survey and we suspect that the enumerators are gaming the study. We believe (in fact we are almost certain that this is the case) that when an interview case is assigned to a certain treatment the interviewers simply restart the survey until they get a favorable randomization.

This is not a pre-assigned survey and the randomization is based on the internally generated random number.

We don’t necessarily need to retrieve the entire survey, but having any information (e.g. timestamps) that could help us identify the cases for which this happened would be a huge advantage.

Thanks in advance,


No, Luca, not possible. If this was the case all tablets would have eventually overfilled with stored information.

For your problem at hand,

  1. inspect the detailed actions log for the interviewers that you suspect of this behavior where you should seek for the implicating records.
  2. make disposal of interviews sufficiently costly to the enumerators by placing the randomization late in the survey questionnaire, e.g. after typing in a roster of members with all their characteristics, etc. Do not reveal to the interviewer the randomization group until she reaches that section.

Best, Sergiy Radyakin

Hi Sergiy,

Thanks for the suggestions, it seems like the detailed actions log is exactly what we need.