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Including hard-to-access populations using mobile phone surveys and participatory indicators.

Firchow, Pamina and Mac Ginty, Roger (2020) 'Including hard-to-access populations using mobile phone surveys and participatory indicators.', Sociological methods and research., 49 (1). pp. 133-160.


One of the main obstacles for survey researchers—especially those conducting surveys in difficult contexts such as postconflict areas—is accessing respondents. In order to address this problem, this article draws on an ongoing research project to reflect on the utility of mobile phones to connect with hard-to-access populations in conflict affected, low-income countries. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of a number of different mobile phone survey modes. The article goes a step further and discusses how (potential) survey respondents can be included in the survey design process thereby increasing the relevance of the research to them and hopefully encouraging them to participate. We conclude by considering the issue of “good enough” methodologies, or the need to balance methodological rigor with an understanding of the exigencies of suboptimal research contexts.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Firchow, Pamina & Mac Ginty, Roger (2017). Including Hard-to-Access Populations Using Mobile Phone Surveys and Participatory Indicators. Sociological Methods & Research First Published October 3, 2017. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:10 September 2018
Date of first online publication:03 October 2017
Date first made open access:10 September 2018

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