Survey research with refugees: A methodological perspective

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This article draws on a study of five refugee groups living in five regions in England carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions. It considers the central methodological issues that emerge when carrying out survey research with refugees. The article examines the key components of research design and Investigation in refugee research. It considers problems emanating from the lack of official base-line field data and the difficulties of gaining access to refugees who are sometimes hidden and for which no sampling frame is available. It presents the strategies that were used to gain access to respondents through gatekeeper organisations and groups working with refugees. The process of recruiting interviewers and their role in the research are also examined including the translation of questionnaires into community languages. In addition, sampling issues and the use of quotas are explored, together with the difficulties of meeting quotas due to differences in migration patterns and social networks between and within communities. The article argues that detailed knowledge about the target cohort is crucial in the absence of a sampling frame in order to ensure effective decision-making as problems emerge in the field. In addition, the use of quotas and multiple gatekeepers in order to ensure the generallsabllity of knowledge is emphasized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages12
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


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