The Challenge of Meeting International Data Collection Standards within National Constraints

Anouk Zabal


The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international OECD study that compares key competencies of adults (16-65 years) in the participating countries. In order to obtain high quality data and to ensure equivalence of measurement across countries, the international PIAAC Consortium produced a very detailed and elaborate set of standards and guidelines for all aspects of the national implementations. In Germany, a comprehensive set of measures and procedures was put in place for the PIAAC fieldwork. Some of the international requirements for data collection were not meaningful within the national context and required certain adaptations. This article describes various key fieldwork measures in Germany and discusses how specific measures relate to central international data collection standards. Reflecting on this national experience, some of the possibilities and limitations of national compliance to international standards are discussed.


PIAAC Germany, survey standards, data collection, survey operations, fieldwork

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Copyright (c) 2014 Anouk Zabal

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