Prince William County conducts a biennial Community Survey, which provides reliable and valid data to help guide strategic decisions made by the Board of County Supervisors.
The survey also provides:
valid insights from a representative sample on performance
reliable indicators of public support for proposed policies and initiatives
information about changes in demographics and attitudes
information which can help influence budget and resource allocation decisions
Ultimately, it allows the County to assess resident perceptions of the overall quality of life in Prince William County; to assess perception of County services; to identify subgroups which may be underserved, and to address specific and relevant topics of interest.
The County partnered with an independent research firm, Issues & Answers Network Inc. to conduct the confidential survey under the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) Code of Ethics. Issues & Answers randomly selected a statistically valid number of residents to respond to the survey via phone and web.
Prince William County conducted an annual resident survey since 1993 until a decision was made to change to biennial surveys in 2012. Results from previous surveys are available at www.pwcgov.org/accountability.
What is the Prince William County Community Survey?
Since 1993, the County has surveyed its residents. The information gained from the survey is used by the Board of County Supervisors and various departments to better understand residents’ viewpoints and needs.
Who/what is Issues & Answers?
Issues & Answers (www.issans.net), is an independent global marketing research firm contracted by the County to conduct this survey. Founded and headquartered in Virginia Beach for 30 years, Issues & Answers have conducted international research in more than 100 countries.
How was I chosen for the survey?
Potential participants for the survey were selected at random from all County households. By selecting participants randomly, we are better able to represent what the whole County population believes and has experienced regarding County services.
How many people are you inviting?
We are inviting a 1,600 people to participate, randomly selected from across the County.
What languages are available?
The survey can be done by phone or online in English, Spanish and other languages as needed.
If I participate, how long will the survey take and what kinds of questions are you asking?
The survey takes about 12-18 minutes to complete and includes questions about your perceptions of and experiences with the County overall and the specific services and facilities that it provides.
If I participate, will anyone else see my personal information?
No. Names or other identifying information are never seen by the County. We are only interested in what you have to say.
Why is my participation important?
We simply can’t reach everyone whose opinions would be valuable to us. Your participation helps build an accurate picture of County residents and their needs because you are part of a cross-section representing many other people with your responses.
What if I don’t know an answer to a question?
Most of the questions are based on your experience and beliefs, so there is no right or wrong answer. Other questions ask for general information about your household, such as the ages of the people in your home. If you are not sure of the exact answer, please answer the question as best as you can.
Why do you ask my household’s income and other personal information?
There are two main reasons that we ask for personal information like your household’s income. First, it is important for us to know how different the people we hear from are from the general population, so that we accurately describe what we found in the survey. The best way to do that is to compare facts, like income and education, from the people we survey to the same information about the entire population. No individual personal information is provided to the County.
How do I know you’ll keep my information confidential?
Issues & Answers is a founding member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). Find more information on the Code of Standards here.
I would like to speak to someone at Issues & Answers for more information. Whom would I contact?
If you have further questions about the study, please contact Victor Crain, Senior Account Executive, at Issues & Answers at (757) 390-4005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.