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Survey Design and Measurement


The Survey Design and Measurement Initiative ended on 31 December 2011.

In an environment of increased awareness of quality issues and concern for declining response rates both nationally and internationally, the ESRC recognised a clear necessity to develop and improve the evidence base around techniques which may be employed to maximise response and enhance survey data quality.

The ESRC responded to this challenge by funding six projects under the Survey Design and Measurement (SDM) initiative. These six projects addressed a range of important issues including, but not limited to: non-response bias, the use of mixed modes, the application of new technologies in the survey process, household definitions and structures, and the validity and reliability of survey questions. Additionally, a further project funded by the ESRC but not under the SDM initiative was included within the SDM initiative 'umbrella'. This was the project led by Gabriele Durrant at the University of Southampton entitled "Hierarchical analysis of unit non-response in sample surveys". Links to research outputs and project web sites can be found in the list below:

Understanding Non-Response and Reducing Non-Response Bias
Professor Peter Lynn, ISER

Mixed Modes and Measurement Error
Ms Gerry Nicolaas, NatCen, Survey Methods Unit

The Commodity Chain of the Household: from Survey Design to Policy Planning
Dr Ernestina Coast, London School of Economics

The Use of Scanner Technology for Collecting Expenditure Data in Mixed-Mode Social Science Surveys
Ms Zoe Oldfield, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Predicting and Preventing Non-Response in Cohort Studies
Professor Ian Plewis, University of Manchester

Solving the Problem of Attrition in Longitudinal Surveys
Professor John Bynner, NatCen

Hierarchical Analysis of Unit Non-response in Sample Surveys
Dr Gabriele Durrant, University of Southampton

The SDM projects are co-ordinated by Professor Patrick Sturgis of the Survey Resources Network (SRN) and National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM).


The Survey Design and Measurement Initiative ended on 31 December 2011. SDMI pages are no longer maintained.