Starting in fall 2022, the City took 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 2022 Portland Insights survey was an effort by the Portland City Budget Office, in partnership with the Regional Research Institute for Human Services (RRI) at Portland State University (PSU), to assess community perceptions and needs in the city of Portland, Oregon.
The three primary goals were to:
- develop a better understanding of Portlanders’ perception of city government and its services from members from a wide range of communities and neighborhoods;
- incorporate this information into performance evaluations of the City’s programs and services; and
- inform the city’s budget development and policy making to create more equitable, data-informed administrative processes.
The survey was conducted in the fall/winter of 2022. We received 5290 completed responses from participants who reflected the diversity of Portland. This representative and generalizable survey provided a rich dataset and valuable information to the City government and the Portland community.
How do I view the results?
We provide multiple ways to view the results. Please read the short descriptions below to understand what content is provided through the different approaches.
Interactive online report
The City of Portland created an interactive report to help you navigate key findings from the PSU report. You can choose the chart format to see more detail.
Full PDF report
Our partners at PSU produced a PDF report with their findings, along with comprehensive data available in the appendices. You can access it here:
The PDF report is also accompanied by a short executive summary with only the key findings. You can access it here:
What are the survey questions?
You can read the survey questions in multiple languages here:
How are we gathering input?
Through the Portland Insights Survey, the City of Portland conducts 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 questions are 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.
How did we select survey participants?
We used a hybrid approach, which consisted of a randomized, mail survey and an opt-in survey option for historically underrepresented communities to recruit survey participants.
20,000 Portland households were randomly selected to receive an invitation letter to fill out the survey. In addition, we partnered with community organizations to provide the opt-in survey and directly engage with communities for which the traditional means of outreach (eg. townhall meetings, listening sessions) have not served well. Our PSU partner combined and analyzed the data gathered through both methods.
How did we conduct 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. One of the ways to reach more Portlanders was through close partnerships with community-based organizations, including:
- Community Engagement Liaison Services (CELs)
- East Portland Action Plan
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
- The Miracles Club
- Multnomah County Youth Commission
- Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
- Portland All Nations Canoe Family
- Somali Cultural and Arts Center
- WomenFirst Transition & Referral Center
These community organizations reached the communities they serve directly or work with other organizations within their network.
What happens next?
Qualitative focus group conversations will take a deeper dive into people’s experiences and compliment the quantitative survey results. These will be conducted in odd-numbered years, starting this fall in 2023.
We will also conduct the next round of the survey in 2024.
How do we protect participants’ privacy?
Data collected through the web survey are only accessible to the members of the PSU research team. Data collected through the paper surveys are received by and stored at PSU by these same team members. No information identifying who a participant is (name, address, etc.) is included with either the 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 are 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 survey responses are at PSU, PSU 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 have access to these files. After they enter the paper survey answers into an electronic database and have checked to make sure everything was entered correctly, they shred the paper surveys. 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 help 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 are trained in ways to best protect people’s privacy, consistently followed steps to ensure your privacy, and signed a confidentiality agreement stating their commitment to do so. These community partners would never ask for participants’ name, address, or other personal identity information.
What data are reported to the City by PSU?
Portland State University (PSU) partners summarize the results of everyone’s responses to the survey in a report given to the City. Findings are only be reported in summary form. Findings presented for subgroups of respondents (for example, by age, zip code, racial or ethnic group, etc.) are only done when there is a large enough number of participants in any one subgroup so that individual privacy is protected.
PSU give the City a data file with individual survey responses that does NOT include personal identifying information. These data are used to create an online report on the City’s website. This online report only show data in summary form. The online report allows the public to view summary survey data to better understand the survey results.