11 Participatory Research Tips for Creating a Survey

These tips are a combination of DataCenter’s experience and “Creating a Downtown Survey” on tylertopics.com.

When we conduct grassroots research through surveys, oral histories and other projects we counter the belief that there is only one side to the story. Surveys can be excellent tools to document what is happening in our community, help us understand ourselves better and let others get to know what is going down for our people. When we document our experiences, we honor our day-to-day reality as knowledge, while building a powerful and strategic tool to help bring us closer to reaching our campaign goals and strengthening our movements.  Part of oppression is keeping information and knowledge in the hands of the powerful. When we reclaim research, we walk one step closer to achieving liberation.

Before you embark on your survey project, check out these tips to make your process and survey instrument more effective:



Creating a survey is a balancing act and practice makes perfect. For a complete guide on creating surveys, don’t miss our upcoming Survey Toolkit! Join us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to get news of the toolkit when it’s released.

Are you or your organization crafting a survey for the first time? We can help! Contact us: info [at] datacenter [dot] org

*Creative Commons – Attribution (CC BY 3.0) Icon designers: Karsten Barnett, Icons8, Rohan Gupta, Edward Boatman, Alex Fuller, Aysegul Donmez, and Berkay Sarg?n from the Noun Project