Stephan Legleye

tells us about the Service des Enquêtes et Sondages (Surveys and polls service)

© Raphaël Debengy

Survey statistician Stéphane Legleye headed INED’s Surveys Department from October 2009 to September 2016. He is a survey statistician specialized in quantitative survey methodology and how to question the general population on sensitive subjects (sexuality, drug use, violence). Interview from July 2011.

Why does INED need a Survey office?

The SES (Service des Enquêtes et Sondages) assists INED research teams in data production from survey design to dissemination. This lightens researchers’ workload and ensures the quality of the data produced at INED. The office provides expert guidance in survey methodology, questionnaire and poll design, and computer survey construction (data-processing, questionnaire response entering, document digitalization, etc.). Once the data has been collected, the office can statistically adjust it, analyse data quality, and document it prior to making it available. The SES is a member of the Quetelet Réseau in charge of disseminating humanities and social science data in France.

What kind of survey subjects does the SES deal with?

The subjects have varied greatly in recent years: international migrations (the MAFE survey), intergenerational and family relations (ERFI), modern languages used in research in France (ELVIRE), end-of-life conditions, living conditions of the homeless, situations of couples using in vitro fertility methods (DAIFI), couples, ELFE, and others.
SES also conducts methodological studies on difficulties that may arise in quantitative and qualitative surveys (cognitive interviewing, semi-structured interviews, etc.). Our expertise in life course or sensitive subject survey design or surveying of vulnerable and not readily accessible populations is widely recognized in France.

With whom does SES work?

We sometimes work with other public organizations. We co-ran the "homeless" survey of 2012 with INSEE and collaborated with INSERM on the Fécond project (statistical adjustment, comparing protocols for doctor surveys, exploring the quality of internet and multimode surveys of the general population). We are currently working with Sciences Po on the Equipement Longitudinal par Internet social science survey, ELIPSS, which will get underway in 2012 by testing 1500 persons using a touchscreen tablet and an internet connection. The SES also addresses calls to tender to private organizations to secure the field for particular surveys or supply necessary computer software.

For whom do you work?

The SES first task is to serve INED researchers and it is open to requests from all research units. It is not itself a research unit strictly speaking, but it collaborates with a many of them in conducting surveys and improving data quality. Its work is highlighted in scientific publications and conference papers. It is one of the few teams to handle this type of research in France.

(Interviewed in 2014)