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Creating Surveys


3. Interview or Individual Survey?

Time and resources will vary depending on what kind of survey your group chooses to create. There are many ways you can develop your survey and there are benefits and drawbacks to each.

Interview Survey
An interview survey is a survey designed so that one person asks another each question and records their response. This is a more time-intensive method, the interviewers will need to be trained (see p.13) and more time will be needed for each survey to be answered. A drawback to interview surveys is that they don't allow the survey to be completely anonymous. In addition, the interviewer can influence the way someone answers the questions, even unintentionally. The benefits of interview surveys are that they let the person answering the survey develop trust with the interviewer and you have a higher chance that every question will be answered. There are other reasons you may want to use an interview format:
  • Is everyone literate?
    If there is a possibility that some people who take the survey may have difficulty reading or writing and people may not be comfortable asking for assistance you may want to use an interview format.
  • Cultural sensitivity
    You may want to use an interview format if you know that the people who will be answering it may need more time to develop trust of your group, or if they already know your group and are more likely to answer if they are certain that it is your group who will be using the responses to move a campaign. It is important that the interviewers are familiar and culturally competent with the community.
Individual Surveys
Individual surveys are surveys answered by the person on their own. Individual surveys require much less time to answer and people are needed only to distribute and collect the surveys.
  • Will people need to refer to their records?
    If you are asking questions that involve personal finances or other information that may require the respondent to consult their cash stubs, bank statements or other records, you may want to create a take-home survey.

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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