Mobility and Migrations at the Time of Transformation – Methodological Challenges (MWM)


The tasks of the project team that consist of researchers and experts of the coordinating centre and four partners’ organizations have been classified in the following way:

– a critical review of all the existing statistical data concerning migration from and to Poland, including the statistics from destination countries;

– an analysis of relations between migration and the labour market, particularly in the context of statistical analysis of the labour market;

– adjustment of the methodology of migration research to the current characteristics of migration phenomena, where a major part of migration flows is the one of pendular character and therefore often inconsitent with traditional research methods that have been applied so far (these methods will include using panel research as well as unconventional methods of collecting data, such as ethno-survey and respondent driven sampling);

– preparation of reference and recommendation concerning the data accumulation system regarding mobility and implementation of a part of suggested solutions.


The project will include a cycle of activities which are designed in order to allow for modification and improvement in currently available data sources concerning migration and mobility through extending the range of collected information and elaborating tools of verification of its quality and credibility. In order to achieve this goal, the following actions are proposed:

(1) Conceptual actions devoted to the methodology of social processes research with particular focus on people’s international mobility.

(2) Critical analysis of available data sources concerning migration from Poland and to Poland. The analysis will include both data from the sending country (Poland) and data from the receiving countries (Norway and Iceland).

(3) Analyses concerning the relations of migration processes and labour market issues, in particular determining what data concerning migration is necessary to develop reliable estimates at the labour market and to implement labour market policy.

(4) Testing the possibility of using panel data- highly useful in social research- carried out by the Polish Office for National Statistics in mobility phenomena analyses. At present, the question of migration is raised only in one of the surveys conducted by ONS, namely in BAEL. This data is, however, not representative of migrating population. After appropriate modification (the extent and structure of the sample) BAEL can become a source of really valuable information concerning the relations of migration processes and phenomena taking place at the labour market. There is a similar potential in a survey concerning living conditions of the people conducted by ONS (EU-SILC).

(5) Actions that are aiming at optimal usage of the potential provided by the Census of Population scheduled for 2011.Active participation in actions preceding and connected with the census gives an opportunity to devise methodological assumptions and the merits of migrational modules (emigrational and immigrational) in a reliable way, as well as testing chosen methodological suggestions within the framework of local survey.

(6) Testing of alternative methods of collecting information concerning migration is planned, which allows to acquire information in a situation where a sampling frame does not occur or to provide complex data concerning migration and the context in which migrations take place. The so-called ethno-survey and alternative sampling methods (among others Respondent Driven Sampling) will be the focus of interest. These methods will be tested both in Poland and the chosen destination countries (Norway, Iceland). The choice of these destination countries basically stems from very strong dynamics of Polish migrants’ influx in the last few years and makes it possible to use methodological experience of a partner institution (in the case of Norway) and to verify data by comparing them to relatively reliable official data (in the case of Iceland). Popularization and implementation actions in the framework of promotion of the project are planned for the whole period of conducting the project.

In the framework of activities (4) – (6) the logistics of modern migration statistics will be elaborated and appropriate pilot study will be conducted. After the verification of their correctness from the point of view of the method and ability to reflect social reality and after introducing proper modifications they will be able to serve as a model to systematic and direct implementation in public statistics practice.


2008 - 2011

Source of funding

EEA Financial Mechanism


Central Statistical Office – Poland
Center for Social and Economic Research – Poland (CASE)
Fafo (Institute of Social Sciences and Labour Market – Norway)
Center for Immigration Research, Reykjavik Academy ( Iceland)