ESRA 2019 Programme at a Glance


Design and Measurement Challenges in Researching Migrants 1

Session Organisers Dr Agata Górny (University of Warsaw)
Dr Joanna Napierała (University of Warsaw)
Dr Justyna Salamońska (University of Warsaw)
TimeWednesday 17th July, 16:30 - 17:30
Room D32

Growth in international mobility has been one of the reasons for the proliferation of research on the migrants. Yet, migrants are populations that pose particular challenges when being surveyed and administrative information about this group is scarce. Difficulties in studying mobile populations can occur at various stages of research design and fieldwork. In our session we would like to focus on the difficulties related to the design and measurement problems. In particular, we propose to map these challenges and provide a forum for a discussion on the ways to tackled them in practice. We would like to focus on challenges related e.g. in designing a longitudinal survey on migrants, to measuring some important migration-specific variables, such as migration events (e.g. trips), ethnic identification indicators, sensitive issues relating to migration (incomes, remittances, legal status), and others. These measurement problems augment in cross-national surveys, essential approach in studies on migrants, that are conducted in differentiated cultural, linguistic and institutional contexts. Additionally, survey traditions and specific answer scales that differ across countries make the harmonisation of data difficult. The measurement challenges intersect with modes of data collection. While majority of surveys on migrant groups are still conducted with the help of face to face interviews (PAPI or CAPI), web-based surveys are reaching in importance in these studies. An opportunity to reach mobile persons via internet opens up a new chapter in migration studies and creates an environment in which surveys can play a more important role in creation of data on migrants in cross-national perspective. Debate on the role of social media and usage of big data in this process paves the way for the future of surveying migrant groups. We invite migration scholars to contribute to the discussion about the future of the migration survey research by sharing their experiences in surveying those groups during our session.

Keywords: migrants, mobile populations, web-based surveys, longitudinal surveys, measurement in surveys

Researching Ethnic Diasporas in International Settings

Dr Hayk Gyuzalyan (CMC)
Dr Susan Pattie (Armenian Institute)
Dr Razmik Panossian (Gulbenkian Foundation) - Presenting Author

The paper will present the results of pilot study surveying Armenian ethnic diasporas in three countries: US, France and Egypt. The pilot study was financed by Gulbenkian Foundation. The quantitative component of the survey combines online data collection and face to face interviews. The survey covered over 800 responses conducted in English, French, Arabic, and two versions of Armenian (Eastern and Western).

Understanding ethnic communities has to overcome all challenges familiar to researchers of hard to reach populations: difficulties in strictly defining survey universe, challenges in recruiting a sufficient number of respondents, difficulties in using probability methods in selecting sample and recruiting respondents, combining different recruitment modes and modes of data collection.

The paper looks at the systematic differences between online and face-to-face modes of data collection in the survey, looking at the differences in the sample composition and in survey responses. Controlling for the main socio-demographic characteristics of the sample and language of data collection, the analysis will look at the impact of the mode of data collection on the survey responses. In particular, the response biases of primacy/recency, non-differentiation, and acquiescence will be analysed in relation to the mode of data collection.

Additionally, the survey responses will be analysed for the social desirability bias in relation to the mode of data collection, to test the hypothesis of the stronger bias in interviewer-administered mode.

The results of pilot study will feed into designing the mainstage Armenian Diaspora Survey, which would cover a larger number of countries and sample size.


The Coverage of Migrants in Cross-National Surveys - Experiences from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

Mr Markus Bönisch (Statistics Austria) - Presenting Author

The coverage of migrants in surveys is getting more and more important, because empirical evidence about language skills and economic and social participation is crucial to deal with integration issues. This is particularly true for large scale assessments as PIAAC.
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international OECD survey that compares key competencies of adults (16-65 years) in 33 countries.
In order to obtain high quality data and to ensure comparability between the participating countries, the international PIAAC Consortium produced an elaborate set of standards and guidelines for almost all aspects of the national implementation – to a certain extent also in regard to the coverage of migrants. In Austria, a comprehensive set of procedures was put in place for the PIAAC fieldwork to cover migrants.
The following fieldwork procedures will be discussed:
• Sampling and weighting
• Translation of survey material and background questionnaire
• Contact strategies
• Respondents motivation and incentives
• Non Response follow up measures

The paper will talk about PIAAC and its methodological background, describe key fieldwork measures related to the coverage of migrants in Austria and discuss how specific measures relate to international data collection standards. Reflecting on the experience in Austria and on the documentations of other participating countries, the conclusions will discuss still open issues regarding data quality in cross-national surveys (translation, exclusions, sampling/weighting) with the focus on the coverage of migrants.


Recruiting Migrant Workers in Australia for Cross Sectional Surveys of Exposure Workplace Hazards: Successes and Failures

Dr Alison Daly (Curtin University)
Professor Alison Reid (Curtin University) - Presenting Author

Introduction: Recruitment is difficult in any study conducted with migrant workers. The recruitment process changes with the type of study but all share the same basic problem, how to find workers from the desired ethnic background. The aim of this paper is to highlight sampling success and failures when recruiting migrant workers from specific ethnic groups in Australia.
Methods: Two cross sectional national telephone surveys were conducted among; 1) Chinese, Arabic speaking and Vietnamese workers and 2) New Zealand, Indian and Filippino-born workers. Sampling and recruitment methods varied by survey. Survey 1 used a sample broker and electronic telephone book to extract telephone numbers with surnames common to the target groups, and then randomly selecting from these. Survey 2 used census data to identify ‘high density’ and later ‘highest density’ suburbs, selecting those suburbs in the electronic telephone book and target surnames and randomly selecting samples from within those names. These numbers were later supplemented by numbers provided by a sample broker and finally target community groups were contacted to facilitate snowball sampling.
Results: Survey 1, total sample 36956 numbers, 52.2% called, 5,899 (30.6%) contacted, 1551 (26.3%) eligible; 585 interviewed (40.4% participation rate). 47% of the total sample frame was unused. Survey 2, 310636 total sample, 84888 contacted (28.3%), 2364 eligible (2.8%), 2051 called, 1631 interviewed (79.5% participation rate). None of the numbers in the sample frame were unused. Among New Zealand (49.5%) and Indian (50.4%) workers, recruitment was greatest using common surnames within suburbs, but most Filipino workers were recruited using the numbers provided by a sample broker (50.4%). Weighting the data to ensure that socio demographic estimates reflect the migrant worker population for that migrant group is important.
Discussion: ‘Hard to reach’ populations require different research design strategies, including sampling methods, to achieve the best recruitment.