Portland Insights Survey

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The first round of Portland Insights Survey was successfully completed at the end of 2022. We heard from more than 6200 community members on how the City government could improve our services to the diverse community in Portland. We are analyzing the data and will release the results in early summer 2023. 

Sign up for email updates to learn about survey results.

What is the Portland Insights Survey?

Starting in fall 2022, the City takes a new approach using surveys and focus groups to ask Portlanders to share their thoughts on our services, policy decisions, and budget decisions. The new approach, called the Portland Insights Survey, aims to ensure that all Portlanders, including communities who have been historically underserved, are represented and heard in government.     

The Portland Insights Survey will give Portlanders a way to voice their thoughts and concerns on the issues and services most important to them. Survey answers will help the Mayor, City Commissioners, and City bureaus improve their programs and better serve Portland’s diverse communities.  

How are we gathering input? 

Through the Portland Insights Survey, the City of Portland will conduct a survey (quantitative data) one year and gather feedback through focus group discussions (qualitative data) the next year. This approach allows us to understand the perspectives of all Portlanders in a nuanced way. We are working with the Regional Research Institute at Portland State University to design and conduct the survey and the discussions.

In addition to an English version, the survey and focus group questions will be translated into Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Ukrainian, which are the five most spoken, non-English languages in Portland. The quantitative survey will be available online, on paper, and via phone by request.

Hybrid method to conduct the survey

Currently, we are working with the Regional Research Institute at Portland State University to design and conduct the first round of the quantitative survey. We are using a hybrid approach, which consists of a randomized, mail survey and an opt-in survey option for historically underrepresented communities.

20,000 Portland households will be randomly selected to receive an invitation letter to fill out the survey. In addition, we will work with community organizations to provide the opt-in survey and we will directly engage with communities for which the traditional means of outreach (eg. townhall meetings, listening sessions) have not served well.

Our PSU partner will combine and analyze the data gathered through both methods.

How are we conducting multicultural outreach? 

The City of Portland is committed to having an inclusionary and equity-forward outreach plan around the Portland Insights Survey, as part of its commitment to the City’s Core Values. We also intend to report the survey results back to community in an easy-to-understand format.

One of the ways we’re working to reach more Portlanders is through close partnerships with community-based organizations, including:

These community organizations will reach the communities they serve directly or work with other organizations within their network. They will work as liaisons to community to help the City gather community members’ feedback, meet people where they are, in languages they are familiar with, and in environments they feel comfortable in.

When are we conducting the survey and focus groups?

Portland Insights Survey will use the quantitative survey method in fall 2022 and moving forward we’ll use this methodology in even-numbered years.  Qualitative focus group conversations will take a deeper dive into people’s experiences. These will be conducted in odd-numbered years, starting in 2023.

How will your feedback be used?

Your response is anonymous and your privacy is protected. The City is not gathering or sharing personal information that could link a community member’s identity with their response. Your input through the Portland Insights Survey will be collected and analyzed by our survey experts at Portland State University (PSU) and will be grouped by demographic information such as age, race/ethnicity, zip code, etc.

Inside the City government, the data will be shared with all the bureaus, the Mayor, and the City Commissioners. These data will inform decision-making at all levels, including during the annual budget process.

How will we share the survey results with the public?

After survey results are analyzed, the City will share the results via a public-facing, interactive dashboard, as well as written reports and fact sheets. We will work with the same community partners to share the results in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. To stay informed about the results, Sign up for email notifications here

How will we protect your privacy?

The City of Portland is working with Portland State University (PSU) to conduct the 2022 Portland Insights survey. This survey can be completed through an online web survey or on paper. PSU will carefully protect data gathered through both of those approaches.

Data collected through the web survey will only be accessible to the members of the PSU research team. Data collected through the paper surveys will be received by and stored at PSU by these same team members. No information identifying who you are (your name, your address, etc.) will be included with either your web or paper survey responses. Instead, individual identification (ID) numbers are printed on the surveys or are used to access the web survey; these ID numbers will be used to keep track of which households completed the survey. That way, we only continue to reach out to the households that have not completed the survey to make sure everyone has a chance to participate.

Once your survey responses are at PSU, PSU will secure the web survey data in password-protected electronic computer files. The paper surveys are kept in locked file cabinets. Only members of the PSU research team will have access to these files. After we enter your paper survey answers into an electronic database and have checked to make sure everything is entered correctly, we will shred your paper survey. The electronic files of the survey data must be kept by PSU for at least three years after the survey project is completed before they are destroyed.

Some community members will be helping us collect participant responses by connecting with people at events, in the parks, or at other public places to make sure we hear from as many groups as possible. These community members will be trained in ways to best protect people’s privacy, will consistently follow steps to ensure your privacy, and will sign a confidentiality agreement stating their commitment to do so. These community partners will never ask for your name, address, or other personal identity information.

What data will be reported to the City by PSU?

Portland State University (PSU) will summarize the results of everyone’s responses to the survey in a report given to the City. Findings will only be reported in summary form. Findings presented for subgroups of respondents (for example, by age, zip code, racial or ethnic group, etc.) will only be done when there is a large enough number of participants in any one subgroup so that your individual privacy will be protected.

PSU will give the City a data file with individual survey responses that will NOT include personal identifying information. These data will be used to create a data dashboard on the City’s website.  This dashboard will only show data in summary form. The data dashboard allows the public to analyze summary survey data to better understand the survey results. Like the report, the data dashboard will only display findings when there is a large enough total number of participants to protect everyone’s privacy.

Have questions about the survey?

Call: 311 or 503-823-4000

Email: insights@portlandoregon.gov


Portland Insights Survey

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