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Palgrave Macmillan

Applying Respondent Driven Sampling to Migrant Populations

Lessons from the Field

ISBN 9781137363602
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

Respondent Driven Sampling is an innovative sampling method that utilizes social networks to identify, survey and provide representative estimates of hard-to-reach populations. Most widely used in public health research of HIV high risk populations, RDS has, in recent years, expanded into other fields, including migration research. While the methodology in many ways is well suited for studying migrants, there are a number of unique challenges when applying this method to this population. This book provides a thorough introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of RDS methodology by drawing upon the experiences of experts in the field as well as pioneers that have applied RDS methodology to migrant populations. The book consists of seven substantive chapters covering the various phases of survey planning, implementation and analysis. Examples from surveys already conducted among migrant populations are used to illustrate the key opportunities and challenges faced when using RDS in this population. Overall, this book is an essential tool for those interested in exploring the use of RDS to sample and analyse data from migrant populations.

Guri Tyldum is a Sociologist and Research Fellow at Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway.

Lisa G. Johnston is an Epidemiologist and Independent Consultant with affiliations at the University of California and Tulane University, USA.

Introduction; Lisa Johnston and Guri Tyldum

1. Sampling Migrants: How Respondent Driven Sampling Works; Lisa Johnston

2. RDS and the Structure of Migrant Populations; Jon Horgen Friberg and Cindy Horst

3. Measuring Personal Network Size in RDS; Lisa G. Johnston, Leila Rodriguez and Joanna Napierala

4. Initiation of the RDS Recruitment Process: Seed Selection and Role; Agnieszka Kubal, Inna Shvab and Anna Wojtynska

5. Deciding on and Distributing Incentives in RDS; Guri Tyldum, Leila Rodriguez, Ingunn Bjørkhaug and Anna Wojtynska

6. Formative Assessment, Data Collection and Parallel Monitoring for RDS Fieldwork; Jane Montealegre, Antje Röder, and Rojan Ezzati

7. Analyzing Data in RDS; Lisa Kohnston and Renee Luthra

Appendix I. Summary Of RDS Surveys Referenced
Appendix II. Overview Of The Development Of The Different RDS Estimators, Their Specific Features And The Software Available For Their Use

Jon Horgen Friberg, Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway
Cindy Horst, Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway
Leila Rodriguez, University of Cincinnati, USA
Joanna Napierala, University of Warsaw, Poland
Agnieszka Kubal, University of Oxford, UK

Anna Wojtynska, University of Iceland
Inna Schvab, International Charitable Foundation, Ukraine
Ingunn Bjørkhaug, Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Norway
Jane Montealegre, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA
Antje Röder, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Renee Luthra, University of Essex, UK


"Respondent driven sampling (RDS) has come a long way since the days of snowball sampling and offers an important new tool for social scientists seeking to study small, rare, and hard-to-find populations. In their book, Guri Tyldum and Lisa G. Johnston offer a definitive guide showing migration researchers to make optimal use of RDS methodologies. Drawing on their incisive understanding of RDS in theory and their extensive experience using RDS in practice they have produced a concise, clear, and eminently readable book that will be of great interest to migration researchers everywhere." - Prof. Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, United States
"This book is a must-read for researchers planning respondent-driven sampling studies of migrant populations. It covers the entire research process from start to finish and is packed with practical advice that is not available elsewhere." - Prof. Matthew Salganic, Princeton University, United States
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