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Problems in representative sampling in the water and sanitation sector: A brief analysis of problems and possible solutions [Quality Assurance: Kristof Bostoen]

Author(s): Hunt, Caroline  |  Bostoen, Kristof

Publisher: WEDC
Place of publication: Loughborough University, UK
Year: 2006

Series: WELL Fact Sheet
Collection(s): WELL


Sampling is part of statistics, the scientific discipline and tool used for investigation of biological and medical science in particular. Sampling is the tool used to select part of a population for data collection and analysis. This selection, the sample, is then used as a manageable number of people or objects (depending on what is being investigated) to then form the basis for analysis. In many cases, collecting data for the entire target population would be too expensive in terms of time and resources, as well as too challenging logistically.

We use sampling in every day life. For example, if buying a large quantity of fruit or vegetables from a market, we would probably not check the quality of every item, but instead might check a few for damage and disease. From that we would then make a decision about whether we were happy with the quality of them all.

Sampling techniques can be borrowed and applied by many people in their work. For instance, the accuracy and credibility of field surveys in the water supply and sanitation sector can be enhanced by following accepted sampling techniques.

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