Reaching Hard-to-Reach Populations & Achieving High Measurement Quality: Insights from Survey Methodology – Katharina Meitinger
Researchers working with hard-to-reach populations are often faced with the challenge of small sample sizes. Each participant in this setting is precious. On the one hand, sampling and contact strategies should be optimal to reach as many participants as possible. On the other hand, the measurement instrument (e.g., the questionnaire) should be thoroughly developed to achieve high measurement quality. After all, a unit or item nonresponse weighs heavier in small samples than in large-scale surveys.
Survey methodological research provides a rich literature on multiple challenges that might arise when collecting data with small samples. This workshop will discuss different strategies from survey methodology on how to access hard-to-reach populations (e.g., sampling approaches, contact strategies), how to deal with issues of social desirability (e.g., mode selection, question formulation, interviewer training), and how to design a valid, reliable, and comparable questionnaire (e.g., questionnaire design, question formulation, pretesting approaches).