Welcome to the Cross-cultural Survey Guidelines!
These Guidelines were developed as part of the Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) Guidelines Initiative. The aim of the Initiative was to promote internationally recognized guidelines that highlight best practice for the conduct of multinational, multicultural, or multiregional surveys, which we refer to as “3MC” surveys.The intended audience is researchers and survey practitioners planning or engaged in comparative survey research across cultures or countries.
See Chapters to access the guidelines, which cover all aspects of the survey lifecycle.
The CCSG Guidelines draw upon and are based on: (1) general good practice survey methodology, as well as cross-cultural and comparative literature on survey methodology; (2) available study-specific manuals and documentation; and (3) the experiences and lessons learned that authors, reviewers, and editors have added through their work on and with numerous comparative surveys.
Best practices are dynamic and can be expected to evolve over time. At the present time, the Guidelines relate to not just cross-sectional surveys of households and individuals but also computer-assisted personal interviewing modes and the usage of paradata and statistical analyses. At a later point in time, they may be expanded to include establishment and longitudinal surveys.
As more documentation and information about comparative surveys become available, we hope to incorporate the lessons learned from these studies into the CCSG Guidelines. New methodological research will also inform new versions of the CCSG Guidelines. You can greatly help us in these objectives by providing comments and suggestions, or simply alerting us about a topic we need to address. Please Contact Us.
Janet A. Harkness Student Paper Award
We dedicate these guidelines to Dr. Janet A. Harkness. Dr. Harkness passed away in 2012. She initiated the International Workshop on Comparative Survey Design and Implementation where the development of these Guidelines was launched. Dr. Harkness not only contributed to the overall framework and content of the guidelines but she also authored three of the original key chapters: Questionnaire Design, Adaptation and Translation. She inspired this work through her steadfast conviction that resources must be made available to researchers and survey practitioners if we are to improve comparative survey research methods, dissemination and analysis.
The World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) and the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) jointly support Dr. Harkness’s work by sponsoring the Janet A. Harkness Student Paper Award each year. This award recognizes "emerging young scholars in the study of multi-national/multi-cultural/multi-lingual survey research (aka 3MC survey research) through support of the winner’s participation in the WAPOR Conference and a cash prize." Please consider donating to this effort in gratitude for Dr. Harkness’s legacy in the field of cross-cultural, comparative survey research.
Origins of CCSG
The CCSG initiative is led by Beth-Ellen Pennell, currently the director of international survey operations at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Also instrumental in the development and operationalization of the guidelines are Kirsten Alcser and Sue Ellen Hansen of Survey Research Operations, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. The guidelines were initiated at the 2005 meeting of CSDI and have involved more than 70 individuals from more than 35 organizations worldwide.
Survey Methods in Multicultural, Multinational, and Multiregional Contexts
Written and edited by experts in the fields, Survey Methods in Multicultural, Multinational, and Multiregional Contexts provides an overview of comparative multinational, multiregional, and multicultural issues in survey methodology. Part of the Wiley Series in Survey Methodology, this volume explores the issue of quality in multipopulation surveys and the level of methodological expertise in comparative survey research. The text, including models of design, multilingual issues, and more on developing countries, is fundamental for statisticians, researchers, and students interested in design and implementation of international, national, and cultural comparative surveys. The text received the 2013 AAPOR Book Award - "recognizing influential books that have stimulated theoretical and scientific research in public opinion; and/or influenced our understanding or application of survey research methodology”. To purchase a copy, please follow this link.