Surveying Mobile Populations: Lessons from Recent Longitudinal Surveys of Indigenous Australians

Surveying Mobile Populations: Lessons from Recent Longitudinal Surveys of Indigenous Australians Journal Article

Australian Economic Review

  • Author(s): Hunter, B. H., Smith, D. E.
  • Published: 2002
  • Volume: 35

Abstract: Geographically mobile populations are notoriously difficult to survey, especially in a cross–cultural context. In broad terms, it is difficult to ensure that respondents are representative of the underlying population, can be relocated, and that data obtained are relevant to them. At a practical level, the problem can be as basic as not having any well–formed notion of what defines a household. Consequently, the resulting analysis of households is at best imprecise and, at worst, conceptually confused. This article documents the lessons for the design and conduct of longitudinal data collection from three recent surveys of an exceptionally mobile population, Indigenous Australians. There appears to be a trade–off between cultural relevance, data quality, response rates and survey costs. The use of Indigenous interviewers does not, in itself, guarantee that response rates will be acceptable.

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Suggested Citation
Hunter, B. H., Smith, D. E., 2002, Surveying Mobile Populations: Lessons from Recent Longitudinal Surveys of Indigenous Australians, Volume:35, Journal Article, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4307.

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