We are glad to hear you are interested in collecting your own data using the WMS methodology. Below we have included some basic information on how the survey is run, and present the available options on collaboration.



Partner with the WMS-approved survey firm

Because every country is different in terms of phone costs, facility of analyst recruitment and amenity to survey responses, we cannot foresee how much your individual survey will cost. After submitting the form, the survey firm will be in touch with a quote. Quotes range from US$200-$300 per interview, depending on these factors. So for a sample of approximately 200 interviews, please expect a minimum budget of about $40,000 to $50,000.

The data collected is owned by the team who funded the data collection. Once the firm delivers the dataset to you, it is yours to use as you please. As part of the knowledge exchange and to continue building on the public good, we ask that the data also be included in the “central” dataset repository to be shared with other researchers. This would only happen two years after the data was collected, to allow individual teams to get the first pass/publications with their new data.


Run your own standalone project

You may always choose to run your own project based on the WMS methodology. A project run without our team’s oversight of the data collection will not, however, be included in the “central” dataset and we will not be able to vouch for its comparability.

This is the best option when comparability is not as first-order as budget, timing, or feasibility constraints.We have provided a lot of information on the methodology here and further resources here.


  • The WMS data is collected via a one-hour interview with the senior-most manager at the establishment (i.e.: plant manager for manufacturing, store manager for retail, principal for schools, and nurse manager/department head for hospitals). This interview is carried out by hired analysts who receive the intensive training on the concepts being measured and on the survey tool itself. Training also includes surveying/interviewing methods and how to ensure a high response rate.

  • Until 2014, the large-scale survey waves were run out of the Center for Economic Performance at the LSE. Since then, because of the growing interest in this dataset, we have partnered with a market research firm in London to allow for longer-running projects (the spaces we ran the survey out of were only available during the summer!).

  • High data quality is our main concern. We ensure this in two main ways:

    • Uniform training: we have a small team of experienced trainers who have conducted hundreds of interviews themselves, as well as trained several WMS teams over the years. They are based in London and Europe, making them generally able to accommodate training sessions at our partner market research firm.
    • Consistent data checks: we use SurveyCTO as the data input tool, which allows us to monitor the data collection in real time. We hold weekly meetings with our research firm partners where we monitor the quality of interviews and discuss potential problems. The trainers listen in to interviews if they share a language, and alternatively review a translated (random) set of interview scoring rationale to ensure consistency in scoring.
  • Although we have partnered with institutions in the past to do standalone projects, the success of these has been mixed. We strongly encourage teams to join the larger projects carried out by our partners, as it is then possible to ensure the data is comparable with previous survey waves.

    You may, of course, use the methodology and all the available resources on our website to run your own project, but because of the intricacies of the data collection process, we cannot guarantee that the data will be comparable to the current cross-country dataset.