The development of the Index comprised several stages and combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Information from existing sources is combined by empirical data gathered by national experts.
First, the expert team prepared a questionnaire containing detailed questions regarding legislative and institutional frameworks as well as the level of implementation of adopted legislation, corresponding to the four broad policy Blocks listed in the Visa Liberalisation Action Plans. The same indicators were applied to all the six countries.
Next, the questionnaires are filled in by national experts and returned to the project core team. In order to collect information, the experts use a variety of resources, including official web-sites of relevant authorities, reports by the European Commission and relevant international organisations, personal interviews with competent officials and experts.
After reviewing all the questionnaires, the core team prepares descriptions of each policy area on the basis of answers provided. Each Block is divided into several policy issues (see below). Since we want to see a broader picture of every policy area, we opted for the evaluation of a whole policy issue by experts on the basis of 0-10 scale. In order to increase reliability of assessment, two stages of peer-review have been introduced. Each policy issue for a given country is evaluated by the national expert and, at the same time, by an expert from another country. If there are disagreements over the scores, experts are asked for justifications. Then, the descriptions and scores are additionally checked by independent consultants.
Finally the core team prepares the final assessments on the basis of experts evaluations and comments. If there are more than one policy areas in a Block, the score for the block is the average score of all the policy areas comprising the given Block.
Every user may check the assessments and formulate their own opinion on the basis of standardised descriptions of the current situation in each policy issue.