Archive for the ‘ community survey ’ Category

word mapping // community voice inspiring new ground


Word Clouds + Graphics // survey



Using a narrative format for some of the survey questions provided the opportunity for personal responses, but it also presents a challenge to quantify and convey the results.   For each narrative response I sorted the answers into general category themes.  From the sum of the different categories I generated a pie chart to get a graphic understanding of the results.  However the pie chart method fails to capture the heart of the response, therefore I tried another technique for making the answers legible to a larger audience.   I choose to make a word clouds for each question.  The frequency of the words in the responses determined their size in each word map.

wordClouds_all.PDF //click PDF for all survey word clouds //  online resource:

Ex. Survey Question #9. What is one of your most important memories of St. Roch?

The numeric questions from the Living in St. Roch Survey have been expressed in pie charts and bar graphs.   The results are generated from 27 surveys gathered in a 24 hour period (2/2011).   I have logged the hand written surveys into an Excel spread sheet as a tool to generate quantifiable results.  The image below quantifies the community’s top concerns and the impact that the issues have on the quality of life in St. Roch.

ALL_GraphicSurveyResults.PDF //click for full survey results

St. Roch // Living in St. Roch survey

St. Roch // Living in St. Roch survey 2011/02

St.Roch Survey_08.PDF

Summary The goal of the survey is to gain a better understand of what is important to the residents and to develop an understanding of significant cultural narratives for the neighborhood.    I was able to collect 27 surveys using the 3 survey methods in a period of 24 hours.

Methods I used three different methods to conduction the survey.

Door to Door

Nika, a member of the St. Roch Community Church, and I walked down Marigny St. from Derbign St. to St. Claude Ave for two hours.  Of the three survey methods, door to door allowed me to meet some of the elderly and less mobile members of the community.  My general impress was that there was a sense of hopelessness, a fear of leaving the home and disappointment that the neighborhood was ‘not what it used to be.’  Nika made this method possible. I would not have been able to do it without someone from the community.

St. Roch Community Church (following an evening event)

A church leader made an announcement after the meeting and encouraged individuals to participate in the survey.  The meeting was racial mixed group of younger residents.  In general there was a greater sense of hope and optimism for the community at SRCC than on I experienced walking on the streets.  This was the most effective survey method that I used, although if I used it by itself, it would not be representative of the larger community.

St. Roch Neighborhood Association Meeting

After a brief introduction from the president of the St. Roch Neighborhood Association (NAM) meeting I gave a statement about the research project. I laid out the goals and emphasized that I would be sharing the research with the community at the end of the process. In attendance was a small group of residents, a couple of neighborhood police officers, and non-profit representatives.  On the same evening, at a different event there was a meeting about neighborhood schooling options.  The residents did not want to have the Carter (?) school return as a KIPP school. ( Many of the members attended that event instead of the NAM because educational opportunities are underrepresented in St. Roch. Anecdotally it was explained that may of the children are bussed uptown at 7 in the morning and do not return until after 7 in the evening.     The image below is the flyer that was e-mail to the NAM members.


Critic of Process

1.   The way that the questions were worded on the survey effected the quality and depth of the responses.  After the narrative based questions I added some possible suggestion to stimulate ideas thinking that this would help to stimulate responses. In many of the surveys this resulted in circling the suggestions and the participant did not expand on the ideas.   As a result the why/what/who part of the question was not answered.

2. The cognitive mapping component of the survey was largely left blank. For a community that has been inundated with surveys since Katrina the mapping question was a different method for conveying knowledge. I think it was not well understood and it way the last question on the survey.  In the future more time would need to be spent explaining the approach and its value.