Policy Research
UAI_Policy_barGraph.gifUkeles Associates, Inc. has an extraordinary ability to collect and analyze information to help organizations and communities make complex and important policy decisions.

Our policy research works spans studies of parks use, leadership, population studies, capital facilities, and education. We are skilled in survey research as well as qualitative research such as focus groups and depth interviews.

Our approach to Policy Research is shaped by five critical elements:

 
1)   Ensuring we ask the right questions
Many studies start with a questionnaire, often recycled from a previous study. UAI starts by interviewing relevant leadership to identify the most important policy issues facing a community or organization that a study might conceivably illuminate. The policy issues are used to frame research questions; the research questions are the basis for identifying the information that is needed. On that basis the research method or methods are chosen (e.g., quantitative vs. qualitative research). Only then is a questionnaire or discussion guide prepared that is tailored to illuminate the specific policy questions that are the concern of the community or organization with whom we are working.
 
2)   Ensuring we draw a representative sample (for quantitative research)
Our sampling system uses advanced data base and computer technology for sampling frame management, that allows us to electronically and immediately assign each potential household telephone number to a unique sampling frame. Thus, each household has a known probability of being called.
 
3)   Ensuring that we interview a representative sample (for quantitative research)
The key to interviewing a representative sample is the response rate - that is, the percentage of telephone numbers in each sampling frame where one actually contacts a household to find out if it is qualified or not, or makes sufficient phone calls to determine that the number "is not working," or is a "business" number, etc. We generally come close to a 50% response rate, which is considered very high, especially in today's telemarketing environment. The key to a good response rate, is a sufficient number of callbacks to the same number. We typically make as many as ten call-backs.
 
4)   Ensuring that we get and record accurate answers
The only way to ensure accuracy is to work with highly trained, professional interviewers with multiple project experience and future commitment to interviewing. We only work with field survey companies that meet this standard.
 
5)   Ensuring that the information is well disseminated and used effectively
The sad truth is that many research studies go on the shelf. We work hard to ensure that our studies do not go on the shelf, because:
(a) the data is accurate
(b) we ask and therefore can answer the right questions that are specific to the community or organization
(c) because we invest the time to engage top leadership during the Study
(d) because we leave a user-friendly data file behind


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Last Updated: Wednesday, 07-Jan-2009 15:45:11 EST