Public sector and opinion research
Research to meet the requirements of the Best Value initiative have been conducted using a wide range of research interviewing techniques. Surveys usually require a high level of statistical validity and quota sampling to match the profile of the local population.
Projects to set up, manage and operate Citizens' Panels have been undertaken to help local authorities meet the requirements for local consultation. The panel database is held and managed by Marketing Assistance Ltd, with regular refreshing of the panel to prevent respondent fatigue. Surveys have been conducted using postal and telephone interviews and we have also conducted surveys by e-mail and over the Internet.
Struggling with the challenges of LDF? We have been there and done it for a number of local authorities. Full consultation plus an active communications programme involving the public, residents' organisations, local schools and, not least, businesses. Methodologies include: postal surveys, in-the-street and house-to-house interviewing, focus groups and web surveys.
Research has been conducted to examine communication and response standards and the effectiveness of new communication channels such as websites. Research techniques include focus groups and telephone interviews.
Performance and customer satisfaction measures have been carried out for direct labour organisations in local authorities. These have been required as part of the on-going target setting and monitoring process. Surveys have been carried out using face-to-face, telephone and postal interviews.
In an environment where schools, colleges and universities are competing for students and for funding an increasingly important tool is the perception of college study. We have undertaken these using self completion questionnaires, by phone and using focus groups interviewing students, lecturers or teachers, the senior management team and even employers. Employer surveys are frequently conducted to identify training needs where a college may be offering business training.
We have carried out surveys covering both bus and train public transport. Surveys include satisfaction and standards of performance research using a variety of techniques. The results are used to develop transport strategies and to enhance staff training programmes. We have also carried out research to help local authorities to develop specific travel plans designed to improve public transport networks and reduce the environmental impact of commuter travel. Research techniques include street, on bus and train and in-home interviewing, telephone interviewing and mystery shopping.
Surveys of staff have been undertaken in a variety of organisations to establish effectiveness of internal communications, levels of morale and the effectiveness of equal opportunity and anti-bullying policies. We use a variety of data collection and interviewing methods to make sure that all employees have equal acc4es to the survey. This can be extremely important where there is a clear split between office based staff, who have access to computers and the Internet, and ‘field’ staff who may have little or no opportunity to access computers. Research is most often conducted ‘on-line’, with personal email or letter invitations sent to all staff inviting them to participate in the survey. On-line surveys offer the highest level of confidentiality and security – an important factor in obtaining a high response level. Surveys have also been carried out using postal and telephone surveys as well as focus groups.