The survey data collection community is facing severe challenges in implementing surveys using pre-pandemic approaches. There are knowledge gaps regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different data collection techniques and approaches such as push-to-web, knock-to-nudge and video-interviewing, and particularly in the mixed-mode context. And there is limited capacity both of skilled interviewers and of research professionals.
Recent developments are leading to changes in commissioner requirements for face-to-face data collection as well as having implications for fieldwork costs and the role of interviewers. In several areas of survey methodology, the need for development of improved methods and the need to identify and communicate best practice is urgent.
The Survey Data Collection Methods Collaboration (SDCMC) is a response to these challenges and aims to deliver a step change in approaches to collecting population survey data in the UK to ensure that it will remain possible to carry out high-quality social surveys of the kinds required by the public and academic sectors to monitor and understand society, and to provide an evidence base for policy. It will do this primarily through a rigorous programme of research focused on ensuring large-scale social surveys in the UK can innovate and adapt in a changing environment and continue to deliver high quality and inclusive data.
The primary aim of the programme of work is to assess the quality implications of the most important survey design choices relevant to future UK surveys and provide good practice guidance and practical training materials, while a secondary aim is to identify promising ways to improve the capacity and skillset of both interviewers and research professionals and take steps towards making those improvements.
Joe Sakshaug (Principal Investigator)
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April 2023 - April 2026