How to do a snap shot survey (easy data collection in a community setting)

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How to do a snap shot survey (easy data collection in a community setting)

It’s easy to do a snap-shot survey using the tools we all have lying around – butchers’ paper, whiteboards and Post-it notes.

This How to came from the Neighbourhood House network, using “feeling safe in your community” as an example of a priority outcomes area that some Neighbourhood Houses might be working towards. Neighbourhood Houses provide programs which give people skills and information to help them participate in their communities, build resilience and confidence to manage challenges, and ultimately contribute to communities that are strong, connected and developing. The Houses need to know if the programs are working. Do people increase their skills and knowledge?

Here’s a step by step guide to an idea the Houses developed called “The Post-it Note Snap Shot Survey’. Here it is used to find out if their Feeling Safer sessions were helping people increase their skills and knowledge.

Work out your questions

Work out the question(s) you will ask – match the questions to the Outcomes measures you have selected when planning for outcomes reporting.

Prepare your survey

On a whiteboard or butchers paper (flip-file or similar), write the questions down with a Likert scale or Yes / No option.

Make sure you let everyone know

Let participants / community members know about the survey, and the purpose of it (that is, to enable us to know if we are getting it right and making a difference)

Display appropriately

You can display it at the last session of a program, OR in an area that participants/community members can access it – eg near the community garden, if the garden features in the outcomes area you have selected as a priority.

Collect your information

Provide a post-it note for participants for each question and ask them to stick their note against their response.

Collect extra comments

Give an option for comments to be added to the post-it notes.

Store your data

When you’re done, take a photo for future analysis. And keep the post it notes in an envelope marked with the question people are answering and the date you collected the information.

Analyse your data

Here is an example of how to do it:

  • 18 people responded to a snap-shot survey about the Feeling Safer sessions held at the House in 2015.
  • 13 / 72% stated that they felt they had improved their knowledge and skills around community safety as a result of participating in the sessions.
  • Participants stated that benefits of the sessions included facilitating links between older and younger community members, being able to hear some useful information provided by Tasmania Police.

Each question might look like this:

This How to was developed through a Neighbourhood Houses Outcomes Reference Group when looking for easy ways to capture information about outcomes.  Jo White, Project Coordinator, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania, helped with the words. Jo is supporting the Thriving Communities, Healthy Families project and is working with the Houses to develop and implement an Outcomes Measurement and Reporting Plan.