Guidance for Developing Surveys

August 16, 2019

Over the course of EDC’s time working with the TPS Consortium, we have been asked by several partners to provide feedback on surveys they have developed. Surveys are the primary data collection method used by TPS Consortium members, principally because compared to other methods— interviews, focus groups, prototype testing, pre/post-tests, or observations—surveys are relatively efficient to use. That ease can be deceptive though. Without the ability to probe or ask clarifying questions, it can be hard to discern respondents’ perspectives. Therefore, it is important that questions be well-written and tested. In this article, we reflect on common challenges we’ve seen in our work with the Consortium, and we present general guidelines for planning and developing quality surveys members can use to gather data to improve their programs.