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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

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Surveying Ukrainian Refugees in Europe: Implementation, Methods, Challenges, and Exchange of Experiences 2

Session Organisers Dr Jean Philippe Décieux (Federal Institure for Population Research)
Mrs Silvia Schwanhäuser (Institute for Employment Research)
TimeFriday 21 July, 09:00 - 10:30
Room U6-01c

Since the start of the war in the Ukraine, many Ukrainians became internally displaced people or sought refuge in the surrounding European countries. So far, nearly 10 million border crossings from Ukraine have been registered and more than 6 million individual refugees from Ukraine were recorded across Europe (27 July 2022). This massive displacement and inflow of refugees within a short period of time generally poses a significant challenge for local and national politics, administration and society of the refuge giving countries. Hence, there is a need for appropriate empirical evidence, in order to take efficient actions, grant needed support, and helping effective social integration.
In response to this growing demand, a large number of survey projects have been initiated in Europe. These projects all face special circumstances and conditions: On the one hand, Ukrainian refugees constitute a hard-to-reach survey population that is only insufficiently represented within common sampling frames, as they are allowed for a visa-free entry within the EU states and temporary admission without asylum procedures. Moreover, they are often accommodated by friends or family in the destination country and are highly mobile within their first months of arrival. On the other hand, they form a highly-digitalized group and mostly own a (mobile-)device to proceed web surveys.
We would like to bring projects surveying Ukrainian refugees together for an exchange of their experiences and to discuss survey methodological and practical challenges. We particularly encourage submissions that offer a perspective on the following dimensions of survey research:

• Different sampling strategies and approaches
• Approaches to reach the target population
• Different survey Designs and Modes
• Questionnaire design and translation
• Fieldwork organization and monitoring
• Attrition, follow-up rules, and experiences in tracing respondents’ return or onward migration
• Innovative tracking techniques for longitudinal designs

Keywords: hard-to-reach; refugee survey; sampling; probaility vs. non-probability sampling


How Shall We Address the Target Population? On the Use of the “Refugee” Label in Advertisement-Based Survey Recruitment of Refugees Through Social Media

Dr Steffen Pötzschke (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences ) - Presenting Author
Dr Bernd Weiß (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences )

During the last years, a growing number of projects has shown that social media advertisements, especially on Facebook and Instagram, can be used to successfully recruit otherwise hard-to-reach populations for online surveys. Among other subject areas, this approach is increasingly used in migration studies, including refugee research.

However, while Meta offers numerous indicators to identify specific subpopulations amongst the users of its networks, there is – for good reason – no indicator identifying refugees. Furthermore, the indicators that are assigned to users who have previously lived in specific countries and that are routinely used to target presumed emigrants of these states do not exist for various countries. Amongst the latter are several which are currently plagued with violent conflict and, therefore, relevant for refugee research, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Consequently, targeting refugees from these countries through Facebook and Instagram can only be realized indirectly. Therefore, carefully designed advertisements and advertisement texts become even more crucial. At first hand, it seems logical to address potential participants as refugees. However, research shows that this label has different and partially negative connotations for individuals who might fall in this category from researchers’ perspectives (Ludwig, 2016). Consequently, not all members of the target population might readily identify as such.

Hence, in this contribution, we investigate whether directly addressing the target population as refugees versus using a more neutral ad text leads to differences in response behaviour and socio-demographic composition of the resulting samples. We use data from two original surveys of Arabic-speaking and Ukrainian refugees to do so. To draw light on the possible effect of differently phrased advertisements, we implemented wording experiments in both studies.

Challenges of selection bias in sampling Ukrainian migrants in Poland for a longitudinal panel study

Professor Agata Górny (University of Warsaw) - Presenting Author
Miss Katarzyna Porwit (University of Warsaw)

While it has been widely recognised that longitudinal studies are superior to cross-sectional studies in establishing casual relationships, such studies pose exceptional challenges for migration research. Migrants are not only hard-to-reach populations but also mobile groups which are difficult to follow in time and space. This involves multiple selection mechanisms impacting samples in migration panels studies.
Our contribution is to demonstrate challenges, with the focus on selection bias, in sampling Ukrainian migrants in Poland during the war for the longitudinal panel study. The studied case is an internet survey on Ukrainian migrants in Poland conducted in July-September 2022 by the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw (N=7600) serving as an established survey for the panel. First, we discus sources of selection bias stemming from the recruitment of respondents with the help of Facebook and Instagram adds – the main mode of recruitment to the survey. Second, we demonstrate selection mechanism regarding participation of respondents in the follow up studies (planned for January-March 2023).
In the recruitment process, the sample of the established survey was stratified by region (16 voivodeships in Poland) and additionally by gender and age of migrants at the later stages of recruitment. We will demonstrate how Facebook and Instagram algorithms apparently strengthened gender bias in the sample towards overrepresentation of women. The latter is the general tendency in internet surveys that was additionally strengthened by the war context of Ukrainian migration making Ukrainian men particularly reluctant to participate in the survey. We will also demonstrate the geographical distribution and age structure of the sample against official registries. Finally, we will discuss characteristic of the sample obtained for the panel study comparing it to registry data and the establishment survey sample.

Voice of Ukraine

Mr Yves Fradier (Kantar Public) - Presenting Author
Miss Anne-Sarah Chekaf (Kantar Public)

10 months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, almost 8 million Ukrainians entered the EU to flee their country at war. Every day the picture changes. In-depth insight into the ever-changing needs of displaced Ukrainians has so far been limited in both space and volume: the production of statistics must both cover all host countries and be rapid and responsive.
Kantar Public took the initiative to build a light and dynamic bespoke online panel to monitor what happens to displaced Ukrainians in the EU to identify the best solutions to their needs. In face of these challenging situations, Kantar Public managed to recruit more than 6,000 (as of December 2022) respondents of which 3,000 agreed to be contacted again and therefore became panellists. The first wave was conducted in July-august, the second in October, the third in December, and by next July, we we will have produced 3 more waves.
On another level, the question of the displacement of the Ukrainian population towards the EU is a European issue and at Kantar Public we have dealt with it on a European scale : a European survey with a European team.
Another point needs to be highlighted. The production of solid statistics takes time, often years, to be put in place. these technical deadlines are necessary, and guarantee quality, in most situations, but out of sync in the event of a crisis. Kantar Public has succeeded in speeding up the knowledge creation process, without compromising on quality, so that it is in line with the changing reality of the situation.