- Administer the public office effectively
- Increase civic engagement
- Plan investment strategies
- Identify hot-button issues
Use people powered data, make reasoned decisions and take prompt action to discover citizens’ needs and expectations. Get your hands on a public opinion poll by Survio.
A few tips before you start creating surveys
Knowing what people demand, what they like or what bothers them gives you a notion of how to sail the state authority ship confidently through rough waters and always anchor safely in a harbor of common consent and understanding. Let surveys be your map and a compass in one.
The purpose of public administration or any kind of public service (communities, organizations, associations, clubs) is to plan, organize, coordinate, control and direct municipality related issues. Questionnaires represent a means for connecting with people to obtain feedback or opinion on a particular topic or a series of topics as a basis for subsequent decision making, such as:
Functioning of the office
Are the office hours convenient for citizens? Does the website provide all information properly and in time? How does the office communicate with the public? Is the speed of processing requests and applications adequate? Find out potential weak spots and work towards their improvement.
Are there schools and libraries to get education at? Is it possible to pursue hobbies in leisure centers or sports clubs? Are small businesses, ie. restaurants, cafés and other venues supported to offer social amenities? Do transport services operate sufficiently? Surveys will bring valuable assessment as well as relevant suggestions to consider and put into practice.
How much attention is paid to municipality maintenance? Do citizens ask for cleaning services carried out at a higher frequency? How is the waste collection schedule organized? Can vegetation planting be included in the strategic planning? Ask the public to vote for the most suitable locations and see where else you can contribute to living “green”.
Infrastructure (investment & development)
Are all households properly connected to the electrical / gas grid or sewerage? Does the road network allow easy access to the suburbs of the municipality? How many bus or train stops are there to enable smooth commuting? Is signal coverage for telephone and data services sufficient? Conduct a public opinion poll to know investment priorities. Draft a strategy concept accordingly.
Tip: Use Survio for participatory budgeting. Offer the public an opportunity to take part in the municipality development. Strengthen civic engagement and raise living standards.
Do people feel safe strolling around after sunset? Is it necessary to take precautions and establish a local police unit to maintain public order and security? Invite the voice of the public to share their attitude on a given subject to help you decide on the next steps.
Always make sure to know what purpose your survey shall have. Focus on one topic or one issue. Be clear, brief and to-the-point. These attributes add to a much higher response rate. If necessary, you can pick a different subject and carry out a follow-up survey in some time.
The way you ask is the key - question types and formulations
You can start from scratch creating your own questions and survey structure. To dive in smoothly, though, there are 100+ ready-made and fully-editable templates, 8 of them are dedicated to communities and non-profit organizations. Get inspired and adjust it to your full convenience.
Each question can be rephrased, deleted or shifted to another position. You can of course add new questions in the template if need be.
- Do you plan to ask the public for evaluation of news and innovations you have introduced within last quarter? Use a single choice matrix that will comprise an overview where each item can be independently assessed on a scale from Absolutely satisfied to Dissatisfied. It’s also advisable to append an open-ended text question, so that respondents can provide further commentary or leave their suggestions.
- Are you about to invest in new facilities? Attach images with different visualizations in an image choice question and announce a public vote on your website. Encourage citizens to have their say in what the place they live should look like and be like. They will surely return the favor by taking part in your survey and help you select the best option.
Tip: Take a look at various question types Survio offers. Choice of proper type and clear formulation grant you relevant feedback reflecting the true status quo of what goes on in your municipality.
Collect responses comfortably, see what outputs Survio generates
Now that you have your questionnaire ready, it is time to share it with the public. No need to think of other software. Survio has a powerful distribution channel mix. Pick one, combine a few or use all of them to maximize accessibility of your survey. Read more about how to distribute surveys on our blog.
- surveys embedded on the website (display surveys on the homepage of your website, so that visitors can’t pass them unnoticed. Choose any of the following forms - Iframe, pop-up window or pop-over widget, depending on what matches the website layout and style),
- social media (invite members and followers of your social media channels to respond to your surveys. Create posts in Survio and publish them directly on social networks).
- QR code (print a QR code with survey’s URL address and put it up on a public noticeboard. All passers-by will scan the code with their smartphones and fill the survey out on their way home from an afternoon walk),
- printed surveys (citizens with little IT capability might appreciate a standard paper form. There’s nothing easier than printing a blank survey from a PDF that Survio generates and sliding it in their mailboxes. Answers obtained from paper surveys have to be evaluated manually, though).
All data received online are processed and analyzed automatically and real-time in Survio. You can filter responses and export results into well-arranged reports. All you need to do is pick a preferred format (PDF, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, CSV or Google Sheets).
Tip: Before the survey goes live to collect responses, check the preview to click it back and forth and fix any potential inconsistencies or grammatical errors. We also recommend that you send a test survey to your colleagues. Their feedback can reveal other weak spots to pay attention to.
What do the answers say - evaluation and interpretation
Answers from your survey are projected in summary results and individual responses. It is important to know which type of data to follow in relation to the objective that is to be achieved.
To monitor functioning of the office and level of people’s satisfaction, you will look into summary results. Build on positive assessment but focus on issues that received mixed evaluation and obviously need improvement. Identify challenges and take action. It can be related to:
- economic domain (investments, construction and development, job opportunities, store network expansion, infrastructure),
- social domain (programs for young families, own housing capacity, living standards, health care, education),
- environmental domain (waste management, ecological sustainability, vegetation planting in urban areas, public transport, parking lots),
- cultural domain (public events, concerts, festivals, sports and leisure activities, libraries, etc.).
Feel free to visit Survio website and browse through a volume of ready-made questionnaire templates for immediate use, organized in 9 topic related categories.
Tip: You may start your survey with a segmentation question dividing the public in particular social groups (residents vs. weekenders, property owners vs. tenants, senior citizens, etc.). You will be able to target better and implement solutions or remedies where they are actually required.
Let’s wrap it up with the golden rules of surveying
Regardless gravity of a situation that is to comprise the core of your survey, remember to apply the golden rules of surveying to boost its effect:
- Indicate how respondents will benefit from giving you their opinions.
- Keep in mind the purpose of your survey.
- Create a logical sequence of questions and clear structure.
- Use simple and intelligible language.
- Encourage sincere answers by highlighting respondents’ anonymity.
The effort you put in the process of survey creation should be paid off with the feedback you get to run the office the way that leads toward prosperity and growth of your municipality, arousing affiliation and satisfaction among citizens. Gut feeling can be good but making decisions upon facts and figures is much safer. Use surveys repeatedly and regularly to change things conceptually.