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Award-winning project - The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists awarded honorable mention in its 2013 biannual Praxis Award to a U.S. Census Bureau evaluationof the 2010 U. S. Census.  Ruth Sando was a contract ethnographer on this project (see the report and picture below). Laurie Schwede, Center for Survey Measurement (CMS)  headed the project team, in collaboration with Rodney Terry, also with CMS. The team was comprised of 12 Census Bureau Staff and 16 independent ethnographers.

 

 

Pictured from left, front row: Tammy Gaich (project intern), Ruth Sando, Laurel Schwede (CMS), Irv Vann (FLD), Denise Gordon (FLD), Ryan King (CMS)

Back row, from left: Julie Shaw (FLD), Rodney Terry (CMS), John Jones, (DSSD), Kopen Henderson (DMD), Frank Vitrano (Associate Director for the 2020  Census and evaluation project sponsor).

 

The project focused on differential undercounts of some minority populations across the US.  More than 600 interviews were carried out in 9 sites across the country, looking at possible coverage errors and later the observed households' data were valideated against the census records.  According to Frank Vitrano, Associate Director for Decenial Census, "These ethnographic studies are an excellent complement to the more nationally representative and quantifiable results that we obtained from the majority of 2010 Census evalutions, experiments and assessments.  The focused work of these ethnographers helped us learn things that we could never learn from our other methods during a census."

 

Ruth Sando will be delivering a paper and participating in a panel organized by the Census Bureau project managers, Laurie Schwede and Rodney Terry, at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Albuquerque in March 2014. The presentation is "The Social Side of Surveys: How Respondents' Attitudes Affect The Interviewer, The Respondent and The Data."

 

Sando and Associates celebrated its 10th year in business!  2013 was a landmark for our company - a full 10 years since its inception.  Many thanks to all our clients and professional associates for making this happen.  We look forward to many more years serving the needs of future clients.

 

The Washington Statistical Society and the DC chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research held a summer conference July 30-31, 2013 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C.  Ruth Sando delivered a poster presentation based on her work as a contract ethnographer for the US Census Bureau.

 

Sando and Associates is one of approximately 20 companies which have formed The Global Development Small Business Consortium.  The consortium will enable members to work jointly on large projects that need the variety of skills and expertise usually found in large firms.  The expanded capacity will allow us all to better serve our clients.  See a description of the consortium at http://thegdsbc.com.

In November 2012, Ruth Sando attended the American Statistical Association's "International Conference on Methods for Surveying and Enumerating Hard-to-Reach Populations"  held in New Orleans, LA.  She presented "Exploring the Effects of Respondent Behavior on the Interview Process and Data Quality in a 2010 Census Case Study Evaluation."  This was based on research conducted for the US Census Bureau.

Ruth Sando spoke at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, in Seattle in March 2012.  She organized a roundtable to discuss building a professional career. Also participating in the roundtable were Dr. Lucy Laufe of Montgomery College and Dr. Karen Mudar of the National Park Service.

In February 2011, Sando and Associates received certification as a woman-owned business from WBENC (Women's Business Enterprise National Council). We have maintained our certification since then. The firm has also been certified as a small woman-owned business in the federal government's Central Contractor Registry for over seven years.

Ruth Sando recently stepped down as president of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists, having served during the 2010-2011 program year.  She continues to work with the organization as a member of the board. WAPA has been focused on the needs of anthropologists who work outside of academia for over 30 years through a combination of topical meetings, a job bank, networking opportunities and information sharing.  WAPA's website is http://wapadc.org.

Sando and Associates recently was part of a winning proposal by Eastern Research Group of Lexington, Massachusetts for a five-year contract with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  We will be working on projects for their Coastal Services Center.

Ruth Sando interviewed applied anthropologists about their training and careers for the American Anthropological Association.  The interviews are available as podcasts on the AAA website:

http://www.aaanet.org/cmtes/copapia/Profiles-In-Practice-Podcast-Series.cfm

In 2008 Ruth Sando was a featured speaker at several national conferences. In March, she spoke at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, where she co-presented with Melinda Chow of radio station KUT, an NPR member station in Austin, Texas. Their presentation was entitled “Teamwork in Ethnographic Fieldwork.”  Click on the link to find a podcast of her talk. practitioners-rise-to-the-challenge-a-discussion-of-methods-in-business-ethnography

 

Publications

 

Ruth Sando's work for the U.S. Census Bureau has been published on the Bureau's website.  She was a one of a number of social scientists who evaluated a project that searched for evidence of undercounting or overcounting in the 2010 census.  The authors of the report, Laurie Schwede and Rodney Terry, both of the US Census Bureau, combined the findings from all the ethnographers and field sites across the country to discuss the types and sources of miscounts and coverage errors.  The evaluation of the Census Coverage Measurement Survey begins on page 81.  Here is the report in a PDF file:

comparative_ethnographic_studies_of_enumeration_methods_and_coverage_across_race_and_ethnic_groups

The AARP sponsored a project in 2006 on retirement savings attitudes and behavior among lower income women.  Sando and Associates conducted focus groups in Houston and Baltimore and which revealed many of the women's challenges.  Read the report on AARP's website, or click here:  women_saving_2006

Research conducted by Sando and Associates was discussed by Jared Bernstein in his book, "All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy."  Our qualitative research preceded a large quantitative project on economic pressures faced by middle-class Americans.  The project was sponsored by The Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

A large and creative ethnography project was described in “Shedding a New Light On An Old Flame.” Published in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Vol. XIX (5) 30-35, May 2005. Co-authored with Donna Sweeney, Associate Research Manager, SC Johnson.