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Last Updated: November, 2021

Surveys can be a powerful data collection method when we want a high quantity of Responses, anonymous feedback, and/or statistically significant findings. While surveys can be quick to draft and share broadly, it takes time to craft a meaningful and clear survey that supports your research aims. We recommend taking 1-2 weeks to plan out and vet the survey goals and questions.

Usage Tips

Recommended Roles: ~2 Co-Designers (+ Key Stakeholders)

  • Invite your project team or key stakeholders to help define the survey objectives (Section 1), to ensure that each step helps to support that shared goal.

Design Tips:

  • This is a working document that will be updated over the course of your survey development and data collection. It is not intended to be completed in one sitting.
  • Surveys can seem like a quick way to reach a lot of people, but they require a lot of planning. Be sure to spend time thinking through questions and your method for delivering the survey.
  • Test survey questions by soliciting feedback from a sample of trusted stakeholders who are (or are representative of) the intended audience to validate the approach. Revise accordingly.

Next Steps: After collecting survey responses, consider how this data analysis fits alongside parallel research efforts and deliverables. See our Data Synthesis Plan template for more resources on translating research into insights.


This template has been developed and iterated across multiple projects by multiple team members, including Leah Tremblay-Adams, Lawrence Grodeska, and Victor Tran.


Creative Commons LicenseThis work by CivicMakers, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

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