Studies of Welfare Populations: Data Collection and Research Issues. Community Authority Contacts

06/01/2002

Informing and/or gaining the support of influential community leaders can be pivotal to the success of the survey. Letters to the local police, Better Business Bureau, ethnic leaders in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) or Hispanic Council, housing authorities, and others serve two important purposes. They provide a sense of security to the interviewer, who then knows that appropriate officials have been notified. Respondents can be shown the letter as a reenforcement measure. The leaders, in turn, often supply essential strategic information regarding places to avoid, whether an escort is justified, and safest times to interview. The letter to community authorities should explain the survey, in addition to how and by whom the interviews will be conducted. It assures them that interviewers will wear photo identification badges.

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