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IMPAQ offers its clients a comprehensive, one stop solution for the design and implementation of survey projects and other projects involving survey research components. Our Survey Center staff is at the forefront of survey methodology, with expertise in survey design, survey methodology, and survey administration to achieve valid and reliable survey results.
Our all-inclusive approach includes survey instrument design, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) submission and approval, questionnaire pilot testing, complex sampling design for large-scale surveys, CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) programming, telephone interviewing, survey analysis, and the production and dissemination of reports.
IMPAQ’s in-house, state-of-the-art Survey Center located in Columbia, Maryland is one of the cornerstones of IMPAQ’s data collection capabilities. Having an in-house survey center, which facilitates close interaction between management, researchers, and survey center staff, helps achieve exceptional data quality, enables the performance of quick turn-around surveys, and generates very high response rates. With 50 call center workstations dedicated to interviewers, the capacity of our Survey Center exceeds 100,000 completed surveys per year.
The IMPAQ team has substantial experience in conducting national, large-scale surveys using complex sampling techniques, such as stratified, clustered, and multi-stage sampling. In particular, IMPAQ team members have developed and used specialized statistical techniques to account for sample design and its associated standard errors.
In designing a survey, our goal is to ensure that all survey questions follow a consistent logic pattern and are easily understood by participants to ensure high item response and accurate responses. After each instrument has been developed, IMPAQ interview staff pretest the instrument to assess problems with individual questions, the flow of the instruments, and the burden on respondents. Senior survey staff monitor the pilot interviews to detect problems experienced by either the respondent or the interviewer, such as questions that are poorly understood, terms that are not well defined, inadequate response categories, difficult transitions between questionnaire topics, repeated and erroneous or unclear interviewer instructions. On the basis of the pretest experience, we revise the instrument as necessary.
Survey Data Collection
IMPAQ’s state-of-the-art Survey Center facilities, together with IMPAQ’s experienced survey staff, make IMPAQ well suited to implement multiple large-scale telephone surveys concurrently. Currently, the IMPAQ Survey Center is implementing several large-scale telephone surveys; each of these surveys is achieving response rates well above the industry average.
IMPAQ staff is well‑versed in the data collection and data management techniques essential to providing high quality data necessary for program evaluation. Once a respondent is ready to complete the interview, IMPAQ’s highly experienced and trained interviewers conduct the interview using a sophisticated CATI system that incorporates questionnaire skip patterns, as well as internal consistency and validity checks for survey responses. To ensure data security and confidentiality, security precautions include restricted access to data based on the user’s username, multiple hardware and software firewalls, data encryption, on-going security certification of IMPAQ’s network by a reputable third-party security services provider, and training in security awareness for all staff.
The IMPAQ research team then processes and analyzes the survey data. Our staff has many years of experience in analyzing a wide variety of survey data, including not only datasets collected by the IMPAQ Survey Center, but also complex, multi-year national datasets developed by client agencies. IMPAQ researchers take an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing survey data to produce thoughtful, wide-ranging, and innovative analyses.