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Respondent Driven Sampling Working Group

This CSES Working Group aims to advance a sampling methodology that combines “snowball sampling” with a mathematical model that weights the sample (to compensate for the fact that the sample was collected in a non-random way). RDS is an advancement in sampling methodology because it resolves what had previously been an intractable dilemma, a dilemma that is especially severe when sampling hard-to-reach groups, that is, groups that are small relative to the general population, and for which no exhaustive list of population members is available.

“[T]he challenge is to specify and explicate the social mechanisms determining the relationship between the informal social organization of close-knit groups and the formal rules of institutional structures.”— Victor Nee