The heart of the research under this section is targeted mostly at national coordinators and data collectors. It specifies the stages which the production of the national survey estimates must go through, starting with the definition of objectives all the way through to the provision of results. It also provides guidelines on how national results are further submitted to a regional body where they are aggregated and further edited before becoming part of a set of regional (and eventually world wide) estimates.
The primary contours of the ICP guidelines concerning the development of the survey frames, and the implementation of the surveys focus on the methodological, organizational, and operational aspects of the work. The objectives are to: (a) develop a coherent survey framework for price collection, addressing both conceptual and practical issues related to sampling and non-sampling errors; (b) provide explicit guidelines with respect to geographical coverage, selection of regions, selection of urban and rural centers and the selection of number and types of outlets within the selected areas, as well as issues of timing and frequency of collection; (c) prepare specific guidance on how the question of national average calculation can be done most effectively, taking into consideration price variation across time, regions and outlets, and urban and rural areas; (d) prepare guidelines on data editing and validation, (e) better utilize existing CPI infrastructure, and to allow countries to consider the feasibility of adopting ICP methods for their own CPIs; and (f) lay out data transfer protocol.