Data Collection Notes
The pilot test of the household survey was performed in rural areas around Pristina (Albanian British rural) and in an apartment complex of Pristina (Albanian British urban) in the last week of August 2000. For the pilot, all questionnaires had random starting modules so as to ensure that all modules were tested during the limited time available for this exercise. The total number of interviews was approximately 50 completed interviews. Given the severe logistic constraints (see section VIII), it was not possible to perform a pilot test in the Serbian areas. Required changes to adapt the questionnaire to Serb specificity were done during the field practices of the Serbian field team training. The Albanian pilot was administered by 12 members of the SOK team, with previous experience in interviewing. The experience of the pilot led us to changes in the questionnaires and was crucial in assessing the time needed for the interviews as well as the relative difficulty of specific modules.
ORGANIZATION AND FIELDWORK PROCEDURES
The household questionnaire was administered by teams consisting of one supervisor, five interviewers, and a driver/logistic agent in the Albanian areas. Of the five interviewers, one was specialized in the agriculture and consumption modules, or used as a additional interviewer when the household size was too large to enable one interviewer to complete an interview in a reasonable amount of time. There were a total of 8 teams for the Albanian interviews.
The supervisors were responsible for making sure that the interviewers had all the materials they needed and for solving all minor problems that came up in the field. In addition, the supervisor was in charge of administering the community questionnaire in each village/urban EA. The driver/logistics person was in charge of explaining the survey to the households selected to participate and setting up interviews6 with the respondent households. They were also responsible for selecting the reserve households in the cases specifically assigned by the field manager.
In the Serbian areas, a total of fourteen interviewers were recruited and trained, with six from the northern part of Kosovo and eight from the enclaves. One Kosovar Serb coordinator was in charge of the field operations. A Macedonian Albanian driver and a British field assistant were contracted to ensure the safe transportation of one of the Southern interviewing teams between Serbian settlements, and to address potential safety issues. The other team used local transportation to the villages which could be safely reached from Gracenica. One international French staff member supervised the teams in the South and another French staff member supervised the team in the North, going to Mitrovica on a daily basis.
The household questionnaire for the Kosovo LSMS was generally administered in one visit to the household. On average, it took two to three hours to administer the questionnaire in Albanian rural areas, an hour and a half to two hours in the Albanian urban areas. For the Serbian areas, the respective times were one hour and a half in the rural areas and one hour in urban areas. The difference in timing seems to be mainly due to the much larger household size and variety of income activities among the Kosovar Albanians. The training for the administration of the questionnaire for the Albanian team was held between September 6 and 23, 2000 in SOK in Pristina, with field practices September 18-23. The training was conducted by an Albanian demographer, assisted by a UNDP staff member seconded to the survey and a FAO staff member in charge of the agricultural module. The survey itself was administered from September 25 through November 4, 2000 in the rural areas and from November 10 through December 4, 2000 in the urban areas.
The training for the Serbian team was held between October 8 and 24, in Gracenica, with field practices on October 23 and 24. The training was conducted by an international consultant and the Serbian Kosovar supervisor. The survey itself was administered from October 25 to November 22, 2000 in the rural areas and through December 18 in the urban areas. The first questionnaires were administered by teams in Prizren and Peja.
The rural community questionnaire was administered by the team supervisor during the time that the team was in the village doing the household enumeration. The supervisor contacted the mayor of the village, or failing that, a local leader such as the school principal. If there is more than one name on the list of respondents in the community questionnaire, the respondents were interviewed together.
The rural community questionnaire was fairly straight forward to administer because the boundaries of the village are clear in everyone's mind and there was no ambiguity about: (a) a facility existing or not in the community; or (b) the distance to the facility. In the Serbian areas in the south, the community questionnaires were mainly administered by the Serb team coordinator, with several done by the team supervisors. There were political tensions in the enclaves, and they had to be mindful of this when trying to find someone in authority to interview since there were no clear cut leaders. Several times they were unable to identify someone on the days they were in the village for enumeration and had to return to the village in the following days. The Serb villages in the north were much like the Albanian villages, with an identifiable leader available. The supervisor of the northern team did all the community
The urban community questionnaire was more difficult to administer. There was no time during the urban enumeration for the supervisors to find the proper respondents, and it was difficult to determine the best way to obtain the data. The education facilities, health facilities and industry portions of the questionnaire were done on a city-wide basis with subject matter specialists for each module. For example, in Gjacova the supervisor went to the Department of Education for the school location and enrollment information, to the Department of Health for the hospital information, and to the government official who had information on the industries in the city for that portion of the questionnaire. This means that each community questionnaire for Gjacova will have the same information for these three modules. The rest of the modules were administered to a leader, or group of leaders, in the enumeration area.
The data from community questionnaire are not a representative sample of communities in Kosovo. These data are intended to provide information on the context in which the households are located for the analyses of the household data.
The survey took place during a period of political transition in the former Yugoslavia region, with tensions in Montenegro in August-September, ousting of President Milosevic in Serbia on October 5, and municipal elections in Kosovo on October 28. The political context influenced the logistics of interviews in the Serbian areas and the post-conflict patterns of behavior of respondent households.
Access to ethnic minorities
Enumeration of the Serbs as a separate frame required counting households in all Serbian villages and urban zones. The rural Serb population in Kosovo numbers about 80,000, of which 20,000 live in the Northern part of Kosovo (3 municipalities) and the rest is scattered in the “enclaves” of Southern and Central Kosovo and in the southern municipality of Strepce (Evans, 2000). Of the 30 selected villages, 8 are in Northern Kosovo. Twenty-four of the urban EAs are also located there, because of the larger urban areas of Mitrovica and Zvecan. Access to communities for counting and listing required securing the agreement of local political leaders, in the enclaves as well as in the North. Training had to be organized separately for the field teams as their safety would have been put into question in SOK facilities. Recruiting of Serb field staff was relatively more difficult in the enclaves, due to the aging of the population, which chose to remain there (Salama et al. 2000). The trainees from the North were all university students.
Training took place in Gracenica, which required the interviewers from the North to travel daily, from Mitrovica North to Pristina on UN transportation, with no guarantees that their safety could be ensured in the event of a mechanical problem of the UN bus. Transportation between Pristina and Gracenica, and also between enclaves for the field work, in a project jeep required contracting a Macedonian driver and a British field assistant to be at all times with the driver. The driver, the Serb team and the field assistant were in radio contact at all times.
Security for the field workers was a primary concern during the field work. Because some of the quick counting and household listings were contracted out, safety related information was not always relayed to the team planning the logistics of the field work. Some supposedly Serb houses in southern enclaves were in fact occupied by Albanian households which were not pleased when the Serb interviewers appeared. This required double-checking before fieldwork could proceed. Some zones in North Mirovica were deemed too dangerous to be listed systematically and the names were taken from a dweller. This information was not relayed to the interviewing team, when the EA was selected into the sample. As a result, the team was pulled out of the field and alternative EAs had to be selected. These examples show the importance of good communication between the different components of the survey team.