Multi-country projects: what does the co-ordinator do? Michael Wilsdon, Apex International Research,

Multi-country projects: what does the co-ordinator do?

Michael Wilsdon, Apex International Research, describes the
role of a co-ordinator in a multi-country project.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it
describes the role of the co-ordinator in some detail in the context of
international research; it highlights the aspects of a project in which the
co-ordinator is involved.

The key words are: co-ordinator, project manager, buyer,
supplier, sub-contractors, cultural diversity, collaboration, language
problems, sampling, fieldwork,

Multi-country projects: what does the co-ordinator do?

Michael Wilsdon, Apex International Research, describes the
role of a co-ordinator in a multi-country project.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it
describes the role of the co-ordinator in some detail in the context of
international research; it highlights the aspects of a project in which the
co-ordinator is involved.

The key words are: co-ordinator, project manager, buyer,
supplier, sub-contractors, cultural diversity, collaboration, language
problems, sampling, fieldwork, uniformity, data, multi-country code book.

The role of the co-ordinator

The co-ordinators role is analogous in many ways to a
project manager in, say, the construction industry, controlling bought-in
services from a range of subcontractors, and with overall responsibility from
Day 1 to completion. The role combines the functions of research buyer and
research supplier. For the end user, the final client, the co-ordinating agency
is the supplier; for the fieldwork and other sub-contractors, the co-ordinating
agency is their client.

A fairly typical selection of operational matters with which
the co-ordinating manager has to deal are:

_ Cultural diversity for example creating an image
battery that will work in Britain, Spain, Thailand and Taiwan; careful
questionnaire development and close collaboration with the local supplier are
needed before fieldwork begins.

_ Language problems most are dealt with by correct
translation routines but hazards can emerge.

_ Sampling most suppliers have an adequate system of
achieving representative consumer samples but these sometimes come unstuck in
the execution; there are problems of imposing a sampling method that the
supplier does not normally use.

_ Fieldwork organisation the variety of ways of
organising interviews, even within Europe, is a problem for the co-ordinator
seeking a degree of uniformity in for example interviewer briefing.

_ Data preparation and entry it is wise to have data
preparation and entry done by the local research agencies; the co-ordinator
prepares the multi-country code book and writes the edit program with all the
right logic checks and provides clear and detailed instructions.

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