Strong Statistical Science
Vital Signs has developed a unique, statistically valid sampling frame for integrated measurements of agriculture, ecosystem services and human well-being at all of the scales relevant for agricultural decision making.
The design of the VS sampling frame is a compound, hybrid system that use a variety of different sampling frames and statistical approaches. The Vital Signs system is unique because it covers many variables and a range of scales, which means that different sampling frames apply at different levels. There are elements of random, model-based designs and systematic grid designs.
The VS Sampling Frame is supplemented, in separate documents, by detailed methodologies describing precisely how each observation variable is defined and collected, as well as by workflows tracing how variables are transformed, combined, analyzed and reported as indicators and indices.
The Vital Signs system uses, where appropriate, data from other observation, monitoring and census systems, which have specific sampling frames. It also uses three distinct frames for different purposes: area, panel and flow-based.