The survey as a public input tool in city parks and recreation departments : do representative surveys matter in decision making?

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Title: The survey as a public input tool in city parks and recreation departments : do representative surveys matter in decision making?
Author: Mora, Sabina
Abstract: Although most city departments use citizen surveys to gather information from the public , very few use probability sampling to ensure a representative sample of the population . This report takes a first look at how park and recreation departments use citizen surveys to gather input from the public . The purpose of this report is to explore the extent to which adequate representation of communities is considered in citizen surveys . This report uses two approaches . First , interviews with parks and recreation administrators in 13 U .S . cities are analyzed to compare the use of surveys across departments . Second , responses from two samples of visitors to Barton Springs (a representative stratified sample and a non representative online sample ) are analyzed to find differences in responses between the two samples . Qualitative analysis of the interviews found that although citizen surveys are common , few managers conduct citizen surveys using probability samples . In addition , adequate representation of the population is not generally recognized as one of the principal benefits of citizen surveys . Responses to the Barton Springs survey suggest that there are important differences between probability samples and non probability samples . This report supports that sampling techniques and survey methodology have a significant impact the results of citizen surveys .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1106
Date: 2010-11-17

Citation

The survey as a public input tool in city parks and recreation departments : do representative surveys matter in decision making?. Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1106 .

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