MOSAiCH is a cross-sectional survey that focuses on the Swiss population’s values and attitudes toward a wide range of social issues.
The respondents are drawn from a probabilistic sample representing the country’s population from the age of 18. While MOSAiCH was conducted every two years as a face-to-face interview until 2017, it is since 2018 carried out once a year in the form of a self-administered survey (online/paper).
In terms of content, the survey is designed in order to enable comparisons both over time and across countries. The thematic focus lies on the current module of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). This international part is supplemented by selected socio-demographic questions, as well as a module composed of Switzerland specific questions. The questions of this Swiss part are determined by means of a public call and either expand the ISSP module thematically or measure other dimensions that are of special interest to Switzerland.
The MOSAiCH survey was founded in 2005; selected parts of the survey, however, have been administered in Switzerland for more than 20 years (see also: Topics/editions).
- The aim of the MOSAiCH survey is to generate internationally comparable data of very high quality that documents the Swiss population’s attitudes and opinions relating to a wide spectrum of social issues.
- The purpose of the annual call for question contributions is to provide interested researchers with a valuable tool for the collection of representative data for their research projects. This data is also freely accessible to the wider scientific public.
MOSAiCH is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and directed by the FORS International Surveys team. Under the lead of Michèle Ernst Staehli, the International Surveys team has the following responsibilities:
- Overall planning and organisation of the survey;
- Development of the Swiss part of the questionnaire;
- Translation of the latest ISSP-Module from English into three national languages (French, German and Italian);
- Sample drawing for Switzerland;
- Development of specific survey methods;
- Cleaning, documentation and processing of the MOSAiCH data.
Coordination of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
The ISSP is a cross-national collaboration programme that coordinates and conducts annual surveys on relevant social science topics. Established in 1984 by its founding members Australia, Germany, Great Britain and the US, the ISSP (www.issp.org) now counts more than 47 member countries. Since its foundation, over one million respondents from all around the globe have participated in ISSP surveys.
The ISSP is organised mainly by a rotating Secretariat, a Drafting group for modules that decides on the annual topics and a Methodology Committee that is responsible for quality specifications and assurance. The General Meeting – consisting of all the member states – develops the source questionnaire, appoints the members of the working groups and makes strategic decisions.
In the past years, FORS (representing Switzerland) has been strongly involved in various ISSP working groups. At present, FORS is in charge of the ISSP Secretariat (2021-2024) and is actively represented in several ISSP research groups (non-response, mixed-mode, translation, weighting, demographics). Additionally, FORS is a member of the Drafting Group that prepared the “Social Networks and Social Resources” module for the 2017 edition of the ISSP.
The respondents are drawn from a probabilistic sample representing the countries’ population from the age of 18. A net sample size of at least 1,000 respondents is required. Since 2010, MOSAiCH is considered a survey of national importance to Switzerland, which means that a sample of individuals can be drawn randomly from the sampling register of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, in accordance with Art. 13c, para. 2, lett. d, of the Ordinance on the Execution of Federal Statistical Surveys dated 30 June 1993.
- Sample of postal codes representing all regions of Switzerland
- Selection of a specified number of households from each of the sampled postal codes
- Random drawing of one person from each household
- The MOSAiCH survey sample design is, since 2010, based on a simple random selection of individuals on national level, without stratification.
- Annual cross-sectional survey with at least one follow-up interview for the respondents
- Self-administered questionnaires (web/paper)
- Target net sample size for the follow-up interviews: 1000 respondents
In order to enhance the quality of the data, the methodical procedure is constantly adapted and improved. Among other things, these measures include a rigorous translation procedure for the questionnaire (TRAPD), optimised random sampling and extensive measures to increase the response rate.
From 1999 to 2003, Switzerland conducted selected modules of the European Commission’s Eurobarometer Survey (in the first year as an independent survey, from 2000 to 2003 in combination with the ISSP). The modules of this Europe-wide survey were complemented by additional questions that focus primarily on the Swiss population’s attitudes and opinions towards national institutions and the European Union. These additional questions are gathered primarily in the modules EBCH – Swiss politics and EBCH – Relationship EU-CH.
While the Eurobarometer (EB) was discontinued in Switzerland in 2003, a considerable number of the EBCH questions has been incorporated into the MOSAiCH project (2005-2017). The document Vue d’ensemble des questions de l’Eurobaromètre en Suisse provides an overview of the repeated questions coming from EBCH as well as other sociodemographic and attitudinal questions of general interest and their implementation in different survey projects from 1999 until now.
Since 2018, the EBCH questions are only included in the MOSAiCH survey on a selective basis, depending on the specific subject of the ISSP module.
The data from the Swiss section in particular are very popular with researchers working in Switzerland, as they accurately reflect the social context in our country. A list of MOSAiCH-ISSP-Swiss publications enumerates publications based on MOSAiCH data and Swiss ISSP data. For more specific searches by topic or author, you can also access the Zotero bibliographic database.
Some results of previous surveys:
Some selected results from previous surveys can be found in the following brochures (survey years 2009-2015) and in our data blog.
Publications with MOSAiCH and Swiss ISSP data
You can search the bibliographic database for title and author:
You can also access the Zotero database for more complex search options and access to the abstracts.
The database currently contains publications from 2020 to 2021 and will be updated each year. Previous publications will be added occasionally.
If you have worked with MOSAiCH or Swiss ISSP data and miss your publication in this list, or if you want to announce a new publication, please send the complete reference to Michele.ErnstStaehli@fors.unil.ch. Thank you for your collaboration.
Just released: MOSAiCH Call 2025 – with a thematic focus on WORK
We invite researchers to propose questions for the second part of the MOSAiCH Survey 2025, which will thematically complement the ISSP 2025 Work Orientations V module. Successful submissions will be fielded in spring 2025, with data available in early 2026.
The deadline for submissions is set for Monday, April 22, 2024.
The MOSAiCH Scientific Commission guarantees the strong embedding of MOSAiCH within the Swiss research community and authorities involved in research in the social sciences. The Commission is mandated by the FORS Foundation Board. According to its mandate, the Commission’s purpose is to guarantee the quality of the Swiss part of the research project and to strengthen the research network in the social sciences at Swiss universities and concerned authorities.
- Prof. Bart Meuleman (KU Leuven, Belgium), Chair
- Prof. Kaspar Burger (Universität Zürich)
- Prof. Axel Franzen (Universität Bern)
- Prof. Eva Green (Université de Lausanne)
- Prof. Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI, Lugano)
- Prof. Anita Manatschal (Université de Neuchâtel)
- Prof. Stephanie Steinmetz (Université de Lausanne)
- Prof. Boris Wernli (FORS)
Dr. Michèle Ernst Stähli and Dr. Marlène Sapin (FORS, Lausanne)
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2024
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2023
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2022
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2021
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2020
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2019
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2018
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2017
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2015
- Call for question contributions MOSAiCH/ISSP 2013