Introduction

Palm Associates Limited is a development research consultancy firm with headquarters in Zambia. Although we do many different types of research, we have a strong bias towards policy/program/project impact and process evaluations, targeting verification, capacity building, and field quality assurance. Through its UNICEF-funded impact evaluation work on social cash transfers, which it has been doing as a sub to the American Institutes for Research (AIR) since 2010, Palm Associates has influenced government policy and evidence-based debate quite substantially. One of the outputs of this research, the 24-month impact report for the Child Grant Program (CGP), won a global UNICEF award as the best research study for the year 2014 (read more).

Capacity and Competencies

One of Palm Associates' strongest points is that not only does it have the relevant skills and experience to implement studies, but it also has, in-house, the capacity to analyze survey data using state-of-the-art statistical and econometric techniques. Palm Associates has got senior research staff that is conversant with common statistical and data management software, such as Stata, SPSS, SAS and CSPro. This level of appreciation of the end-use of the data helps to ensure that the most effective quality assurance systems are put in place throughout the assignment, from design to implementation, analysis and report writing. This plus its strong base in Zambia means that Palm Associates can provide all technical and logistical support needed to run any survey, ranging from recruitment of field and data management personnel to transport hire and field supervision. Its ability to achieve this is further enhanced by the synergistic relationships it enjoys with strategic sister companies in the Palm Group of Companies, as well as its other internal technical competencies

Capacity to Design and Implement Large Surveys

All the major surveys that Palm Associates has conducted over the years are large, most with sample sizes in excess of 2,500 households selected through multi-stage stratified cluster sampling procedures. That is, the surveys have involved, besides household interviews, random selection of clusters or primary sampling units (either through probability proportional to size [PPS] or through simple random sampling [SRS]) and conducting community interviews in each of the selected clusters. Many of these studies have also involved listing of secondary sampling units in each selected PSU and undertaking random selection of secondary sampling units (SSUs) using the sampling frame generated during listing.

Access to a Large Pool of Survey Staff

Palm Associates has also trained and maintains a large database of field researchers, research assistants and data entry personnel required to undertake any large-scale survey from beginning to the end. All our staff has been involved for many years in many large evaluation, baseline and follow up studies. Thus, Palm Associates has all the resources and expertise needed for the proposed study