How methodologies are adopted to provide internationally comparable results

Date of publication: June 15, 1987


For many years, a debate has been going on, sometimes heated, other times controlled, about the quality of research that is being carried out in the Middle East and how it compares to that of the larger European countries. Why this should be so owes as much to the difficulties and peculiarities of the region as to the myths that were created and disseminated by the people in the industry. The paper will firstly look at the difficulties and how these were overcome, and then at the myths and their perpetrators. The difficulties centre around sampling methods in the absence of easily available sampling frames and the lack of trained personnel, especially interviewers. It will be shown how sampling frames were painstakingly constructed and how an organisation was created to train and control interviewers. It will show how telephone interviewing is feasible in certain circumstances and impossible in others. Finally, the paper will show how low literacy rates were overcome and self-completion of certain questions was emulated, using magnetic boards and graphic presentations. This did not produce, however, any significantly different results from the usual methods.

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