Documenting the Undocumented: Use of Respondent-Driven Sampling for Surveying Cross-Border Undocumented Bangladeshi Migrants in India

Ankita Siddhanta , International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Specialised surveys targeting migrants are challenging as sampling frames are limited to identify migrants. Respondent Driven sampling is a widely used method for sampling from hard-to-reach human populations, combing "snowball sampling" with a mathematical model. This study applied RDS on Cross border undocumented Bangladeshi migrants at Kolkata, India. Recruitment of respondents was initiated with a small, diverse and influential group of both male and female migrants called ‘seeds’. Each seed received recruitment coupons to recruit his/her peers. Eligible recruits who finished the survey process were also given coupons to recruit their peers. The recruited peers of seeds who completed the survey became Wave 1 respondents, and the recruits of the wave 1 respondents became Wave 2 respondents. This process continued till Wave 3 in which the sample size of 400 migrants was reached. RDS proved to be an extremely important tool to map and survey the undocumented Bangladeshi migrants.

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 Presented in Session 145. New Data Sources and Sampling Strategies for Identifying Migrants