Instrument Development & Evaluation

One essential component of high quality data is good survey instrument design and the key to that is question evaluation. CSR has been a leader in this area, routinely using structured evaluation and testing methods, including laboratory techniques (focus group discussions and cognitive interviews), traditional field test methods, and standard measurement protocols to elicit quantitative feedback from interviewers and respondents. The goal of these activities is to determine whether or not drafted questions present tasks that respondents can perform, are consistently understood in the way they were intended, are measuring what they're designed to measure, and can be administered in a standardized way. Several CSR staff have international reputations in the area of question evaluation, and CSR is involved in numerous projects where our role is specifically in the area of questionnaire design, question evaluation, and other pre-survey development activities. A project like this might include, for example, focus groups to develop concepts for the questionnaire, followed by a round or two of cognitive interviews to test specific questions on the population of interest.