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Survey Design and Measurement Initiative (SDMI)

On the 1st October, 2007 the ESRC’s Survey Design and Measurement Initiative (SDMI) was launched. In the previous year the ESRC had put out a call for research to urgently identify ways to enhance the quality of survey research and to harness opportunities for methodological improvement. Thirteen applications were received, and six were recommended for funding. Since then, one other ESRC-funded research project has been brought under the SDMI ‘umbrella’. These seven projects are cutting-edge research which aim to improve the quality of the data collected by surveys.

The seven projects funded, and the person leading the research, are:

  • Understanding Non-Response and Reducing Non-Response

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 Emestina 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, Social Statistics, University of Manchester. More information is available here: Centre for Longitudinal Studies – Current CLS research

  • Solving the Problem of Attrition in Longitudinal Surveys

Professor John Bynner, Institute of Education, University of London

  • Hierarchical Analysis of Unit Non-response in Sample Surveys

Dr Gabriele Durrant, University of Southampton

On October 28th 2008 the seven teams met at the Institute for Fiscal Studies to discuss strategies to co-ordinate the dissemination of results from the SDMI projects.

A summary of progress so far on the projects is available:

Project title Summary of progress
Understanding Non-Response and Reducing Non-Response Bias download (PDF)
Mixed Modes and Measurement Error download (PDF)
The Commodity Chain of the Household: from Survey Design to Policy Planning download (PDF)
The Use of Scanner Technology for Collecting Expenditure Data in Mixed-Mode Social Science Surveys download (PDF)
Predicting and Preventing Non-Response in Cohort Studies download (PDF)
Solving the Problem of Attrition in Longitudinal Surveys download (PDF)
Hierarchical Analysis of Unit Non-response in Sample Surveys download (PDF)