How the survey was done

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This quantitative opinion poll was based on 15,200 face-to-face interviews with children and young people between the ages of 9 and 17, who are representative of the more than 93 million of their peers in the 35 countries and the UN-administered Province of Kosovo which were surveyed.

The survey, conducted between December 2000 and February 2001, used the same methodology and questionnaire in all the countries, making for comparable results.

UNICEF developed the master questionnaire in English which was tested, finalized and translated into 34 local languages using "back translations" (translation back into the original language to check if meaning has been preserved) to ensure accuracy. In some countries, questionnaires in several languages were used to reach minority ethnic groups.

Household interviews were conducted by trained interviewers. A total of 400 interviews were conducted per country, with the exception of the Russian Federation and Ukraine where 800 interviews were conducted in each. Each interview took an average of 40 minutes to complete.

The children to be interviewed were selected according to these parameters - age, gender, geographical region and area (urban/rural) of the country in which they live, as well as the socio-economic status of their household. The number of children interviewed for each of these criteria was in direct proportion to the official child population figures for each country and a specific weight was given to each country reflecting the proportion of its children in the total child population of all countries surveyed. These measures ensured an accurate and representative sample.

The interviews were conducted in line with the international "Guidelines on Interviewing Children and Young People", issued by the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research. All children were interviewed by trained pollsters in their own language and in their homes with the permission of their parents or guardians, but not in their presence. The interviewer and the child were alone during the interview to encourage the child to answer all the questions freely and candidly.

The questionnaire contained both open-ended questions and closed questions. Open-ended questions required spontaneous responses, without orientation or prompting of any kind. Closed questions required the respondent to select from several possible answers, the one that best corresponded to what he or she thinks.

All the information and responses collected from the children were entered into a database. Spontaneous answers to all open-ended questions were analysed and coded to permit processing of the data. Finally, the data recorded was processed, analysed and graphically presented.

The survey was conducted by the GfK Group, who co-ordinated the work to ensure efficient planning, monitoring of the development of the fieldwork, uniform data collection and processing, and quality control for analysis and reporting.

The poll was sponsored by UNICEF with support from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. It was carried out through the combined efforts and support of various Geneva-based offices of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) - the Regional Office for Europe, the Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) and the Baltic States, and the Private Sector Division, as well as UNICEF Country Offices and UNICEF National Committees in Europe and Central Asia.

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.

About the survey
How happy children are
How children feel at home
How children feel at school
How children feel in today's society
How safe children feel
Children and harmful or illegal substances
How informed children are
Children's views on government and politics
How children see the future