Designing Surveys of International Migrants: The Needle in the Haystack, or Finding the Right Haystack? A Case Study of Colombians in Ecuador

Richard Bilsborrow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

International migration is taking on increased importance in the world, leading to increased interest in how to collect data on international migrants, usually "rare elements" in destination countries. This is leading to the development and testing of methodologies for sampling and data collection. There have been few efforts to collect data on developing countries, on south-south migration. This paper will report on the design of a sample survey of Colombians, including refugees, who migrated to Ecuador since 2000. In the absence of a good up-to-date sampling frame, proportionate sampling of areas from a previous census, two-phase sampling, and snowball sampling were used to attempt to sample sufficient migrants. The paper will discuss rationales for the use of these methodologies and the actual experience in this case, concluding with recommendations for future surveys of similar populations in developing countries.

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Presented in Session 129: Nontraditional Data Collection Methods