Sampling hard-to-locate populations: Lessons from sampling internally displaced persons (idps)

Prakash Adhikari, Lisa A. Bryant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the challenges that researchers face when conducting surveys on hard-to-survey populations. It begins with an overview of the various conditions that can make it difficult to include some populations in studies or surveys. This includes the population’s being hard to identify and locate or hard to persuade or interview and even difficulty in defining a sampling frame. The chapter then suggests various sampling approaches that may help researchers overcome challenges when studying hard-to-survey populations. It uses internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nepal as an example of those who are hard to locate and discusses how the Nepal Forced Migration Survey used several of the techniques discussed to collect a representative sample from this population after the 1996–2006 Maoist insurgency. This chapter demonstrates that with careful planning and creative approaches, researchers can collect quality data from hard-to-survey populations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Polling and Polling Methods
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780190213299
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Forced migration
  • Hard-to-locate
  • Hard-to-survey
  • Internally displaced persons (IDPs)
  • Nepal
  • Sampling
  • Survey


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