Surveys are a powerful way to understand how an issue affects people in your area. Surveys can also tell you gather opinions to help identify future opportunities.
Here are a few tips to help you design your questionnaire - the questions you plan to ask.
1. Start by thinking about the big picture:
Identify exactly what information you are looking for, then develop a set of questions that will allow you to collect it easily.
2. Don't forget the basics:
- Ask their gender and age-group
- Ensure their answers stay private
- Make each question specific and clear
- Use closed questions - for example, ones that lead to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer
- But include a few open questions as well - for example, ones with an open space for people to write about their feelings
- Remember that you can use face-to- face, phone, mail or e-mail to deliver your interview
- Think about your safety. Ask a parents or teachers about safety if you are asking the questions in person
- Always be polite and thank people for their time
When you have received a good amount of responses to your survey:
- Write a report to summarise all the answers you've gathered. Be sure to highlight significant results and draw any conclusions you can. It is also a good idea to include an explanation of how the survey was conducted - for example, where and how you collected the information, who the respondents were (you don't have to give names but you can say that they were from from a particular community, town, school, etc.), and how many people responded.
It is always a good idea to attach a copy of the questionnaire in your report, so that anyone who is interested can see the exact questions that lie behind the statistics.