Surveying Syrians in Diaspora: Methodological Aspects for Planning and Implementing Longitudinal Studies

  • Judith KohlenbergerEmail author
  • Isabella Buber-Ennser
  • Bernhard Rengs
  • Roland Hosner
Part of the European Studies of Population book series (ESPO, volume 20)


This chapter provides insights on social surveys among refuge seeking persons carried out in Austria between 2015 and 2017. The methodological approach of the data collection, questionnaire preparation, experiences from the surveys, as well as insights from the field phases from wave 1 and 2 of the surveys are presented. Findings address several key challenges faced by surveys of the highly mobile and vulnerable group of asylum seekers and refugees, including contact and response rates, language barriers, and ethical considerations. In addition, we provide input for planning and implementing longitudinal studies to track the economic, social and cultural integration of Syrian migrants in the labor market and society of the host country. We discuss concrete solutions and recommendations for similar (inter)national, cross-cultural surveys on the Syrian population that recently arrived in Europe.


Refugees Asylum seekers Panel survey Methodology Field phase Sampling Research ethics 



This chapter was partially funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): Z171-G11. The FIMAS project was kindly funded and supported by the Austrian Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the federal states of Tyrol and Salzburg, the city of Vienna, the city of Salzburg, the city of Graz, the city of Wels, the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns, and the labor market service of Upper Austria, Vienna and Tyrol. The FIMAS project was coordinated by ICMPD and co-implemented with the refugee service of the Protestant Church (Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst) and the Centre for Social Innovation. The FIMAS+INTEGRATION project was implemented in cooperation with the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies and the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, and realized through grants from by the Jubilee Fund of the Austrian National Bank. Special thanks go to Golschan Khun Jush, ICMPD, for comments on drafts of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Kohlenberger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabella Buber-Ennser
    • 2
  • Bernhard Rengs
    • 2
  • Roland Hosner
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Social Policy, Vienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria
  2. 2.Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), Vienna Institute of Demography/Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)ViennaAustria

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