- Inside the Guide
- What is...
- Why and how to use The Good Enough Guide
- 1. Involve people at every stage
- 2. Profile the people affected by the emergency
- 3. Identify the changes people want to see
- 4. Track changes and make feedback a two-way process
- 5. Use feedback to improve project impact
- 6. Tools
- Tool 1: How to introduce your agency: a need-to-know checklist
- Tool 2: How accountable are you? Checking public information
- Tool 3: How to involve people throughout the project
- Tool 4: How to profile the affected community and assess initial needs
- Tool 5: How to conduct an individual interview
- Tool 6: How to conduct a focus group
- Tool 7: How to decide whether to do a survey
- Tool 8: How to assess child-protection needs
- Tool 9: How to observe
- Tool 10: How to start using indicators
- Tool 11: How to hold a lessons-learned meeting
- Tool 12: How to set up a complaints and response mechanism
- Tool 13: How to give a verbal report
- Tool 14: How to say goodbye
- 7. Other accountability initiatives
- 8. Sources, further information, and abbreviations
- Thank you
The Good Enough Guide
Tool 7: How to decide whether to do a survey
Surveys can be used to collect information from large numbers of people before, during, or after a project. Surveys are useful tools but can be complex and resource-intensive in practice. Before deciding if you are ready to conduct a survey, think about some of the advantages and disadvantages.
Surveys: some advantages and disadvantages
A survey can provide specific information about a lot of people in a short time.
Information from some of the people can be used to plans for all the population.
The methods and forms used to collect information must be standardised so that results can be reliably compared (for example, see Tool 8).
A survey requires careful consideration beforehand in order to determine what information can be obtained, from whom, how, and when.
A large amount of information can be obtained cheaply if unpaid or volunteer staff are used.
Only a short time can be spent with each person so the information you receive about them may be limited.
You will also need time to analyse and use all the information collected.
The people selected may be easy to get to or willing to co-operate but not necessarily representative of the population.
These methods may produce superficial information. Interviewees may give the answers they think you want to hear.
Time may be scarce. If people’s way of life is not fully understood then the information they provide may prove misleading.
A large-scale survey is often difficult to supervise because of staff costs and distances to be covered.
From Partners in Evaluation: Evaluating Development and Community Programmes with Participants, © Marie-Thérèse Feuerstein 1986. Reproduced by permission of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.