WP9 Pilot survey requirements

Lead beneficiary: Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar (Croatia), The Catalan Youth Agency (Spain)

Work Package 9 developed a series of piloting exercises that are required to refine instruments and procedures. In the framework of the Work Package the requirements of the piloting and drafting the field manual, which details the procedures, were established. The criteria for selecting countries and locations for the pilot survey were determined. This Work Package also informed aspects of the costing of EuroCohort.


T9.1. Develop criteria for the selection of pilot survey countries.

T9.2. Determine the precise requirements of the pilot survey (numbers to be surveyed,

research design and procedure).

T9.3. Establish critical success indicators which will be used to show that a full survey is doable.

T9.4. Draft a field work manual for the pilot survey.

T9.5. Determine the costs required for the pilot survey.

Summary of WP9

Working package 9 was devoted to proposing both the general scheme and detailed guidelines for EuroCohort’s pilot. Being an ambitious and large-scale survey, EuroCohort will necessarily need an extensive and ad hoc pilot to ensure successful fieldwork and the robustness of the collected data.

It is proposed that EuroCohort’s first wave piloting follows a three-step procedure (pre-pilot, pilot and dress-rehearsal) - these stages share some aspects but are aimed at different goals:

  • The pre-pilot would be a small-scale qualitative study and would be aimed at determining the appropriateness the understanding of the content of the draft questionnaires. Cognitive interviews would be the research technique used in the pre-pilot, which would be carried out in a selection of countries by the national teams.
  • The pilot would have a medium scale sample and would be aimed at determining the appropriateness of three main issues: the psychometric properties of some scales; the questionnaire’s usability for respondents and interviewers, including length and translation; and some aspects of the software and hardware functioning during the face-to-face Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI). CAPI would be the research technique used in the pilot, which should be carried out in all EuroCohort countries by survey agencies. The number of participants in the pilot would be the same for all countries.
  • The dress-rehearsal would be a medium scale study and would be aimed at testing all elements of the research procedure. It is planned as a trial run of the main study that tests the entire research process from a methodological standpoint. This includes elements such as sampling and recruitment strategies, administration of the questionnaires, the appropriateness of the contact protocols or the data storage systems. This stage would be carried out in all EuroCohort countries by survey agencies. The numbers would be different depending on the country size (+/- 10 million people), as EuroCohort sample would also vary according to that indicator.

The piloting of the next waves should generally follow the proposed three-step procedure. The pre-pilot and pilot should be done for the first three waves of EuroCohort main survey for birth cohort and for all waves for age 8 cohort.

WP9 has also produced a general estimation of the costs of wave 1 piloting. The estimated total piloting costs, excluding pre-piloting, in countries over 10 million people, would oscillate between 154,033 € (Romania) and 766,624 € (Sweden). The costs in smaller countries may vary between 55,176 € (Bulgaria) and 504,228 € (Ireland). The average costs in bigger countries could be 472,994 € and in smaller countries 204,153 €.