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Creating Surveys


2. Do We Have the Time & People Power?

Most surveys take a lot of time to develop and require people willing to develop and distribute the survey. The time spent on the survey will vary depending on a number of factors. Many groups take one to two months to develop the survey, taking advantage of membership meetings to decide on a list of areas your group wants the survey to focus on and then using a survey committee or smaller group to turn the list into questions. Distributing and collecting the survey will also vary in time. Some groups prefer taking one to two days to distribute the survey door-to door in a neighborhood, mail out or post on a website. Others may need three, four or more months to have the survey spread through the community. This is up to your group to decide after taking into account costs, your people power and what kind of survey people will respond to best. You will also want to factor in enough time to input the data into a format where you can analyze the results of your survey. This is a good piece for volunteer graduate students or others who have skills using Excel or other software and may be looking for ways to get more involved in the community, to work on.

The key to cutting time and resources is to bring in people to help with the project. Setting up an advisory committee is a great way to draw in people who have experience in developing surveys (and entering and analyzing data) and who possibly bring financial resources for the project. Advisory committees can include academics with experience in survey and statistical research, union leaders, and community members with experience in the area you are researching. The advisory committee can help you with questions that may arise, assist in any research or pilot testing that may need to be done before the survey goes out, and vouch for the rigor of the survey methodology if the findings are put under public scrutiny. Being clear about the responsibilities of the advisory team is important to ensure that your group remains in control of the direction of the survey project.

A project of the DataCenter's Economic Justice Program, May 2004.


Download "Creating Surveys" Toolkit
(18 pages requires free Adobe Acrobat®Reader)

Bajar "Creando Encuestas"
(Documento de 20 paginas de formato PDF; se necesita el programa Adobe Acrobat®Reader para ver o imprimir este documento.






Surveys to Support Campaigns

Survey Planning:

1. Why survey?
2. Time & Resources
3. Type of Survey
4. How many surveys?
5. Language
6. Safety
7. Reaching respondants

Creating Surveys:
1: Create Info List
2: Design Survey
3: Test Survey
4: Train Interviewers
5: Analyze Data

Evaluating the Survey Process

Sources & Resources

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