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Session Title: Improving Survey Quality
Multipaper Session 829 to be held in MISSION B on Saturday, Nov 13, 1:40 PM to 2:25 PM
Sponsored by the
Strategies for High Response Rates Among Hard-to-Reach Respondents: A Case Study From the Communities Empowering Youth National Evaluation
Lindsay Fox, Abt Associates Inc, lindsay_fox@abtassoc.com
Christopher Mulvey, Abt Associates Inc, christopher_mulvey@abtassoc.com
Ryoko Yamaguchi, Abt Associates Inc, ryoko_yamaguchi@abtassoc.com
Marjorie Levin, Abt Associates Inc, marjorie_levin@abtassoc.com
Abstract: National surveys show low response rates among hard-to-reach respondents, most notably busy professionals such as teachers and executive directors. While web surveys are seen as a panacea for these respondents, attaining high response rates remains elusive. We present strategies on attaining high response rates using the Communities Empowering Youth Evaluation sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a case study. In the administration of a web-based survey to over 550 organizations, we were able to achieve response rates of 98% at baseline and 97% at follow-up. We will have results from our third wave of data collection in time for the conference. Our methods include a user-friendly online survey, on-going tracking of contact information, and a team of survey administrators (called solutions desk liaisons) through which technical assistance and outreach was provided. We hope others in the evaluation field can benefit from employing these successful methods.
Organizational Survey of Workplace Climate: Differences in Representation Across Response Modes
David Mohr, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, david.mohr2@va.gov
Katerine Osatuke, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, katerine.osatuke@va.gov
Scott C Moore, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, scott.moore@va.gov
Boris Yanovsky, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, boris.yanovsky@va.gov
Thomas Brassell, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, thomas.brassell@va.gov
Mark Nagy, Xavier University, nagyms@xavier.edu
Abstract: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) All Employee Survey (AES) is a voluntary annual survey, an important evaluation and feedback tool in the VHA system. The AES assesses employee job satisfaction, perceptions of workplace climate in their specific workgroups, and perceptions of organizational culture in their broad organizations (VHA hospitals, clinics, or program offices). Since 2004, the AES results are consistently used to inform local and national decision-making regarding human capital and workplace management priorities. AES response modes include paper, phone, and web. Given the changing perceptions of technology, we examined representation of employee groups by modes in years 2004, 2008, and 2010. We found the VHA workforce to be demographically similar to AES respondents, however, comparing AES respondents across mode of survey completion showed demographic differences. We conclude that offering several response modes maximizes demographically balanced participation. This is particularly important when evaluation of perceptions guides subsequent organizational actions.

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