The Self-Assessment as a Method for Survey Quality Assessment

Making an attempt to assess the quality of the European Social Survey in Bulgaria (Round 4) through a self-assessment checklist

December 11, 2012

Darina Peycheva
Social Survey Research Center
Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


The presentation will outline the methods and tools for survey quality assessment, while focusing on the self-assessment as a method and the checklist as an instrument to evaluate the quality of the survey. It will point out the importance of adopting a particular survey quality perspective and will present an attempt in developing a self-assessment questionnaire integrating the TSE paradigm. The choice of survey quality perspective is based on a study on the evolution of the concept of survey quality, demonstrating it is an ongoing improvement concept, and that the TSE is the conceptual foundation of the field of survey methodology and the core of each survey quality perspective.
Since 2005 Bulgaria is a member of the European Social Survey research team and its high methodological standards in conducting cross-national cross-cultural comparative studies. As a member of the European and the World scientific research community, the Bulgarian team in ESS faces the challenge to adopt and apply these methodological standards in the national research practice.
With the aim to assess the quality of the ESS in Bulgaria is developed the `ESS-Bulgaria (Round 4) Self-Assessment Checklist`. The questionnaire aims to monitor the adherence to the quality standards set up by the Central Coordination Team in ESS, as well as the application of additional quality assurance and quality control procedures, beyond those required by the research project. Moreover, the tool searches the opinion of the team responsible for the ESS in Bulgaria on the problems arose during the study, the necessity of additional efforts and improvement in specific survey elements and steps during the next survey editions.
With this regard the national coordinator and the fieldwork coordinator (fieldwork responsible person) were asked to complete the questionnaire as the people who know best the process of survey organization and implementation in Bulgaria. The questionnaire is structured in separate sections with questions referred to the national coordinator and the fieldwork coordinator, and is filled-in separately by them. The sections to the national coordinator address questions related to sampling procedures and translation, and the piloting, data collection, quality control, data entry and processing sections, are referred to the fieldwork coordinator.
The questionnaire is developed in the frame of the PhD project `Methodological Problems in Survey Quality` and the information will be only used in the frame of the PhD paper.

About the speaker

Darina Peycheva is a PhD student in Survey Methodology at the Social Survey Research Center, Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Her main research interests and experience are related to survey methodology, focusing on problems in survey quality improvement (incl. quality assurance, control and assessment) and problems in reporting results from surveys. Darina Peycheva is currently finalizing her PhD Paper “Methodological Problems in Survey Quality” at the University of Mannheim in the framework of the ERASMUS exchange programme. She is also a research member in the EU comparative research project Work and Life Quality in New and Growing Jobs` (WALQING), working on employment and organizational research issues.