Improving Quality Standards in Large Scale Surveys

May 10, 2018

Mareks Niklass, PhD in Sociology, is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Latvia, and a Researcher at Advanced Social and Political Institute. He received the 2017 AABS Mudīte I. Zīlīte Saltups Fellowships Grant, to spend the month of October at NORC at the University of Chicago. NORC is a leading research institute responsible for the organization of survey studies like International Social Survey Program (ISSP) and General Social Survey (GSS) in the US.

In May 2016, I became ISSP’s coordinator in Latvia. The purpose of my visit at NORC was to learn more about quality standards, fieldwork organization and non-response in large scale surveys like ISSP and GSS. In addition, the visit gave me an opportunity to get to know world-renowned scientists in the fields of survey methodology, behavioral economics, game theory and computational social science.  These contacts will lead to further cooperation with NORC.

I was also able to attend the Donald J. Bogue Demography Workshop organized by NORC on issues of response and nonresponse errors and questionnaire design, as well as workshops organized by various departments at the University of Chicago on Applications of Economics Workshop, Workshop in Family Economics, Behavioral Science Workshops, Health Economics Workshop, Public Policy & Economics Workshop, Becker Applied Economics Workshop, and Chicago Education Workshop.

I am convinced that the knowledge I acquired at NORC will enable me to ensure higher survey standards in ISSP studies in Latvia, which will benefit our researchers.  I am thankful for the Mudite I. Zilite Saltups Postgraduate and Post-Doctoral Fellowship that enabled me to experience and learn more in these fields.