AMP Toolbox

 Note: description of this tool is adapted from the FAO –EAF tool box.

Steps that may require using questionnaires are those for which participation with stakeholders is important, such as Steps 1, 3 and 5.

Questionnaires are used to get a survey of information. By means of questionnaires, information can be collected from a large group of stakeholders on a wide range of issues. Because of the structured format of questionnnaires, collected information can be compared and quantified.

Well-structured questionnaires can provide useful information on a variety of issues. They have advantages over other types of surveys in that they can be relatively cheap, because they do not require as much effort from the questioner as is needed for a verbal or telephone survey, and usually have standardised answers for questions that make it simpler to compile data.

However, standardised answers may frustrate users and questionnaires are also sharply limited by the fact that respondents must be able to read the questions and respond to them. Thus, for some stakeholder groups conducting a survey by using a questionnaire may not be practical or appropriate.

Usually, a questionnaire consists of a number of questions that the respondent has to answer in a set format with a distinction being made between open-ended and closed-ended questions. An open-ended question asks the respondent to formulate his own answer, whereas a closed-ended question has the respondent pick an answer from a given number of options. The response options for a closed-ended question should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive. A respondent's answer to an open-ended question is usually coded into a response scale or into a category afterwards.

The questionnaire can be filled out in a face-to-face meeting where an interviewer presents the items orally; the questionnaire is filled in directly by the person being interviewed either on paper, or, increasingly now, on line where the items are presented on the computer screen, often via web.


  • Use statements which are interpreted in the same way by members of different subpopulations of the population of interest.
  • Use statements where people who have different opinions or traits will give different answers.
  • Think of having an "open" answer category after a list of possible answers.
  • Use only one aspect of the construct you are interested in per item.
  • Use positive statements and avoid negatives or double negatives.
  • Do not make assumptions about the respondent.
  • Use clear and comprehensible wording, easily understandable for all educational levels.
  • Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Avoid items that contain more than one question per item (e.g. Do you like strawberries and potatoes?).
Further tips can be found below under Appendix.

Surveys and questionnaires are a common method for gaining opinions and information from a large group of stakeholders in an orderly and consistent manner.

Fairly hard

Low, high
Running a questionnaire will in general require a fair amount of resources and a dedicated team of people to plan, complete and analyse the information gathered.

The costs can be high if the questionnaire is to be physically sent to a large group of people. If web-based methods are used, this will reduce the costs.

Moderate – high
It requires a project leader who has good sampling theory and project management skills to complete a useful survey.

Background requirements
A large amount of information is not required to undertake a survey – in fact, this is often the purpose of the survey – to gather information.

Moderate - high
This method is designed to contact and get participation from a relatively large group of stakeholders.

Time range
Moderate – high
Most questionnaire surveys will take a number of months, at least, to complete.

Source of information
Definition and description
Tips on Design 1
Tips on Design 2
On line questionnaire assistant, (help in designing the survey, collecting the answers and analysing responses)

DG EuropAid Evaluation tools, Survey, [WWW Document].