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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Strategic session on the future of survey practices: How has the pandemic affected survey practices - which are worth keeping in the long term?

Session Organisers Mr Andrew Phelps (Office for National Statistics UK)
Miss Laura Wilson (Office for National Statistics UK)
TimeFriday 21 July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room Martini U6-4

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about seismic changes in the survey research world. Many established national surveys within weeks had to significantly change their collection methodologies in order to continue to feed data to national indicators. Many new collections needed to be stood up at pace to measure the impact of COVID-19.
As the survey world emerges from the pandemic, it is left asking itself many strategic questions about the future of survey practices. This session is designed as an opportunity to discuss these challenges more broadly, and will not focus on specific pieces of research that have been conducted in this area.

This strategic session will focus on:

a. Corporate structures – the impact of increased and dispersed survey activity in a large organisation and strategies to improve cohesion in this new context

b. The impact of the pandemic on field interviewing and post pandemic strategies for effective field activity

c. Legacy survey practices – many new survey practices emerged during COVID - what shouldn't endure and what’s worth keeping?

d. Future – post pandemic preparedness – what can we do to prepare for the next emergency that surveys will need to respond to?

The session will include an opportunity after each paper for audience interaction - sharing experiences and insights of these post pandemic challenges and discussion of potential solutions and ways forward.

Keywords: survey practice, pandemic, field interviewing


Pandemic impact upon survey activity in organisations

Miss Laura Wilson (Principal Researcher and Data Collection Lead in the UK Government Data Quality Hub) - Presenting Author
Mr Andrew Phelps (Principal Researcher and Survey Strategy Lead in the ONS Surveys Directorate, UK)

The pandemic imposed a stage of evolution on survey development and there is a concern that some of these new ways of working are now becoming the ‘new normal’, potentially at the expense of quality. At ONS the pandemic also changed how surveys are set up and run. This talk shares the challenges and what we have put in place to help mitigate any risks.

Pandemic impact upon current and future field interviewing

Mrs Karen Blanke (Senior Researcher and Head of Section on Survey Methodology and Pretesting at the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis)) - Presenting Author

The pandemic in Germany, as in other countries, gave a big push towards more data collection in social surveys by online data collection instruments. However, there is no doubt, that mixed- mode data collection is still needed, but by different emphasis on the different modes. This talk shares the data collection strategy in social surveys by Destatis, the options and risks when meeting reality.

Pandemic impact upon survey methods and practices

Mr Nicholas Gilby (Research Director, Probability Surveys Unit, Ipsos UK) - Presenting Author

This talk will review what Ipsos learned from undertaking the REACT 1 study with Imperial College London and the UK Health Security Agency during the pandemic. It will focus in particular on how the pandemic changed what was thought possible for social surveys, and which of these changes might be useful and sustainable in the future.

The future and our preparation for what’s next

Dr Peter Lugtig (Associate Professor of Survey Methodology at Utrecht University, Netherlands) - Presenting Author

The Covid pandemic has accelerated long-term changes in how surveys are being conducted, but also exposed several challenges that survey practice in general: how to ensure we hear from relevant subgroups in our population, how can we make surveys more timely and responsive, and how can we better integrate surveys with other sources of data?
Over the past years Peter has worked on web survey methodology, and smartphone data collection. He currently leads a research project that aims to improve social science data infrastructure and research methodology for future pandemic preparedness in the Netherlands.