Results from the Pilot Study (DNORPS)

The goal of DNORPS was to assess the feasibility of the study design and thereby to lay the groundwork for launching a major longitudinal study of displaced New Orleans residents. DNORPS allowed us to assess the design and outcomes from fielding a survey of this population, such as identifying a sampling frame, tracking displaced residents, and assessing non-response patterns.

Three main results emerged from the pilot study:

  • First, the main challenge in achieving a high response rate was to find sampled respondents: over all, 65% of sampled cases were located in the pilot but with significant differences by flood-depth stratum.
  • Second, among respondents successfully located and contacted, a very high percentage participated in the pilot study—even with limited refusal-conversion efforts, refusal rates were only 12%.
  • Third, few systematic patterns of non-response were apparent. The results provide valuable insights for ways to successfully undertake a full-scale study, but are also interesting in their own right. In particular, the methods and results for DNORPS may be applicable to studying population effects in the aftermath of other natural or man-made disasters, and the results from this study may thus be of wider interest.

A more detailed description of the DNORPS and discussion of its results can be found in the following paper:

Sastry, Narayan

Tracing the Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Population of New Orleans: The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study — 2008

Sociological Methods & Research, 38: 171-196, 2009. Also available as University of Michigan PSC Research Report No. 08-637, May 2008.