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Advice from Associates – Questionnaires Part 1

Before you begin thinking about a questionnaire, be really clear with about what the data you are collecting are going to be used for. Firstly, there’s no point in collecting information you don’t need (it just makes the questionnaire longer), but it helps to make sure you don’t miss out really vital facts. So, for example, if you know that a proposal you’re consulting on might lead to compensation for property owners, you would probably wish to separate response views out into those from respondents who owned property, and those who didn’t; it would be wise, therefore, to ask not only whether they owned property or not – but whether the property they owned would be affected by the proposal (e.g. is the property they own in the path of the proposed development?).

About the Author

Barry has been a Consultation Institute Associate for over ten years, and is now a Fellow of the Institute, providing consultation, evaluation and research services to many organisations. He delivers courses for the Consultation Institute on Better Focus Groups, Better Surveys and Questionnaires, and Better Data Analysis for Public Consultations, and has published three books with them: Effective Public Meetings, Effective Focus Groups, and Effective Surveys and Questionnaires.

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