Multi-Country Surveying and Coordination of World Wide Surveys

Regardless of whether the person who makes the survey works in the academic, non-profit or commercial sector, he/she should strive to conduct surveys that are:

  • likely to produce findings with sufficient accuracy for the purpose for which they are intended, and
  • as accurate as possible within the resources available to the project (e.g. time and money)
  • run consistently in all countries/geographies.

Although many people fail to recognise or acknowledge it, by far the most important advantage of telephone surveying is the opportunity it provides for quality control over the entire data collection process.

Provided there are no overriding reasons that rule against its use such as showing photos or cards, it is the “quality control advantages” that positions CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) as the ideal method for multi-country surveying.

BERENT has developed tools to deal with the three most critical issues of producing findings comparable across a set of countries:

  • Translations of the master questionnaires,
  • CATI-programming (identical routing, question options, etc.) and
  • Data file structures.

BERENT utilises the Canadian “VOXCO” CATI-software package, which is able to handle several languages simultaneously: The master questionnaire (mostly in English) is used for CATI-questionnaire programming (routing, question options, etc.). The English wording is saved as the “master” language, while the second language is reserved for local language e.g. the translation. In case of uncertainty, interviewers can, as needed, toggle between the local language and English questionnaire, during either questionnaire testing or interviewing.

There are key major advantages:

  • The master questionnaire is programmed just once and is used directly by the local agencies, ensuring there are no skip or structure differences.
  • The local version of the questionnaire is identical to the master questionnaire.
  • Since all countries work with the same CATI-questionnaire, truly identical data files are produced.

The ongoing fieldwork is monitored centrally by downloading files to the central CATI system, from each local CATI-studios servers.

Quality and quantity are monitored by evaluating sample utilisation, call history of individual records and in total (the so called “log” which follows each record/telephone number), response time (for specific question groups unknown to the interviewers and the local agency), verbatim and so on across all countries surveyed.

It is possible to conduct fieldwork simultaneously in several countries throughout the world, and still have a 100% exact and comparable picture of fieldwork – in terms of both quality and quantity. Interim and update reports on data collection, or even survey findings, can be provided either instantaneously or on a next day basis.

For more information on how BERENT can help your organisation conduct across several countries at the same time please contact us.