Preliminary considerations

Attention must be paid to the kind of information that is required, the nature of the respondents who are to be surveyed and the method by which the survey is to be conducted. The three considerations are interdependent. For instance, in order to answer questions in a meaningful way, a respondent must have access to relevant information and it must be appropriate for the person concerned to make a response. By way of illustrating the last point, asking the male partner in a household about shopping habits is not appropriate if the female partner does all the shopping.

The questionnaire must address all the data requirements that are specified in the research objectives and attention must be given to ensuring that this is done. It is also important to take account of how the questionnaire is to be tabulated after collection of the data. Each topic should be taken in turn and it should be decided which groups in the survey population warrant individual attention when it comes to discussing this topic.

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