This paper presents a synthesis of the BBC World Service's experience over the past two or three years in conducting quantitative research in Eastern Europe. The focus is not on any one of the dozen or so surveys which we have done in the region, but rather on the state of the industry in the area. Firstly, there is an overview of the standards and approach to research in the area from a cautionary perspective. The lack of a research tradition in the region has specific causes and has left the area as a research vacuum which is now being filled with much research of variable quality. This is followed by a summary of the main problems encountered in commissioning research in that part of the world. Individual problems are described and analysed with proposals for solutions, or strategies for maximising quality. The information is perhaps most useful to those commissioning survey research in the region, but it is also intended to generate debate among practitioners, for whom the issues are probably familiar.