On October 20, 2020, an online round table was organized with the community of the ESS in North Macedonia, focusing on social science researchers from the academia and think tank sector. The round table titled „Challenges for the scientific research in conditions of the global pandemics: new IT tools in the European Social Survey“, was organized and hosted by the Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research.
The event attracted significant number of participants: around twenty-five were present on the Zoom platform, and around fifteen were following the live stream at the Institute’s Facebook profile. The programme of the round table included introductory presentation from prof. Aneta Cekikj (Head of the ESS team in NM), followed by opening discussions from prof. Jovan Ananiev (UNI Goce Delcev – Stip), Tanja Ivanova (Programme coordinator at Reactor-research in action), Misha Popvikj (Senior researcher at Institute for democracy “Socieats civilis“ – IDSCS) and Jasmina Mihailovska (Coordinator for research at M-Prospect agency). Other participants joined in the further discussion.
A number of issues have been raised and several points made. Fieldwork data collection faces severe challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and most research is currently being conducted by switching from face-to-face to telephone interviewing. Since this is not possible in the ESS, video interviewing as a technique for data collection was discussed. Some advantages of online tools were also highlighted, especially with regard to the reduction of costs for research.