High-quality fieldwork

(A) Standardized translation process

The translation process of the EVS 2008 master questionnaire was closely monitored. First, this English master questionnaire needed to be translated into 37 languages. Moreover, having 47 countries/regions participating in the fieldwork, implied that there were 47 different social contexts to which the translation had to be adjusted. In 14 countries, more than one language was needed, for example in Belgium (French and Dutch), Latvia (Latvian and Russian) and Macedonia (Macedonia and Albania). The large number of countries and different languages required efficient and well-coordinated translation procedures. Therefore, a translation center was established at CEPS/INSTEAD in Luxembourg, which served as a help desk for the National Program Directors. At CEPS/INSTEAD a first check of translations took place.

Three translation procedures were followed:

  • Review procedure for repeated (old) questions: are translations made in the past still ok? As continuity over time is important, as little changes as possible were allowed.
  • Standard procedure for new questions: two independent translators provided translations; adjudications were made by the national program director.
  • Adaptation procedure : Countries sharing the same language adapted from the primary translation. For example:

    – German: translation provided by Germany and adapted by Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland.
    – French: translation provided by France and adapted by Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
    – Albanian: translation provided by Albania and adapted by Kosovo and Macedonia.

    To facilitate these translation procedures, a web-based translation tool was created: WebTrans (courtesy of Gallup Europe).

(B) Standardized fieldwork procedures

In all countries, a representative multi-stage or stratified random sample of the adult population of the country of 18 years and older was approached for face-to-face interviews. Interviewers were thoroughly trained before they went into the field and made at least three revisits in case of not reaching the selected respondent at the first visit. Interviewers completed a predefined contact form for each visit and quality control back-checks were made.

(C) Standardized data processing

The original country data files were systematically checked for: duplication of ID numbers, variable names and formats, empty records, wild codes and logical inconsistencies. Missing values were assigned and recoded into negative values. The national program directors provided additional information on classifications of political parties, religious denominations, educational systems, occupational coding, and regions in their country.

For more detailed information related to the Integrated Dataset EVS 2008 and the national datasets, please go to Data and Documentation.