Timing Factors
Study concepts
Q'aire Development
Field Methods
Data Processing
Data Review
Data Files

Questionnaire Development

The final international core questionnaire consists of four parts: the questionnaire itself, three household charts intended to facilitate responses, a self-administered form intended to ensure respondent confidentiality, and cue cards intended to assist the respondent in choosing answers. The following are links to these core documents.

bulletFinal International Core Questionnaire
bulletHousehold charts
bulletSelf-administered form
bulletCue cards

Greenlandic Questionnaire

Achieving a common international core questionnaire has proven to be the single most challenging task of the project. Underlying the 61 page questionnaire are enumerable decisions on concepts and measures. Among the key elements contributing to a successful questionnaire development effort are the following:

bulletMost participants in questionnaire development were experts in either local knowledge or one of eight social science disciplines. This diversity in expertise helped ensure that relevant dimensions of living conditions were included and that measures were appropriate to the context of living conditions in the Arctic.
bulletWe met as an international team (researchers and Native steering committee members) repeatedly in workshops dedicated to project tasks. We facilitated discussion of materials through the use of an LCD projector and hyperlinked documents.
bulletAll working drafts of questions and questionnaires as well as workshop summaries were available on demand through the project website.
bulletWe were able to use English as a common language for questionnaire development, and used back-translations to check for consistency of meaning.
bulletIn anticipation of cases where the respondent preferred to take the interview in their Native language, we translated the response categories contained on cue cards into Native language dialects.
bulletAll teams used the same word processing software.
bulletWe shared in each other's pilot testing and interviewing experiences. For example U.S. team members helped pilot testing in Norway and a Norwegian team member helped interviewing in Alaska (before finalization of the Norwegian questionnaire).
bulletWe followed an iterative approach whereby national Native steering committees reviewed working drafts of the questionnaire produced by the international team and then the international team took into account steering committee comments in the subsequent draft.
bulletWe built on a combination of international social indicators research and three decades of Arctic survey research.

There were 11 workshops over four years devoted largely to the task of questionnaire development. The following are links to summaries of each workshop.

bulletSlagelse, Denmark, May 1998
bulletOttawa, Canada, December 1998
bulletWashington, DC, USA, February 1999
bulletQuebec City, Canada, March 1999
bulletSkodsborg, Denmark, February 2000
bulletMontebello, Canada, April 2000
bulletIqaluit, Canada, April 2000
bulletLondon, England, October 2000
bulletQuebec City, February 2001
bulletNuuk, Greenland, April 2001
bulletLisbon, Portugal, September 2001

We described the London workshop as a case study under our discussion of factors affecting the timing of reports and data files.

We included a reference to the Survey Topics in our concept discussion. 

For details on questionnaire development, see Questionnaire Development History.

National Questionnaire Development Experiences:


Greenlandic Questionnaire


ISER researchers brought to the project experience in survey research in Alaska on living conditions that started in 1975 with a collaborative project with the North Slope Borough. Examples of this research include:

Kruse, Jack, J. Kleinfeld, and R. Travis (1982) "Energy Development on Alaska ’s North Slope : Effects on the Inupiat Population" Human Organization, Vol. 41, No. 2.

Kruse, Jack, Stephen Braund, and Frank Andrews (1985) A Social Indicators System for Monitoring OCS Impacts, Technical Report No. 116, Minerals Management Service , U.S. Department of the Interior.

Kruse, Jack (1991) " Alaska Iñupiat Subsistence and Wage Employment Patterns: Understanding Individual Choice" Human Organization 50(4): 317-326.

The Alaska team's role in the project has been to assist the international team and individual countries with technical expertise in survey research methods, web site development, and document handling.

The Alaska Native Management Board reviewed and approved questionnaire drafts prior to pilot testing, major international team workshops, and as a final instrument pior to fieldwork.

Once the questionnaire for Alaska was finalized, it was submitted to the University of Alaska's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. The IRB reviews all projects that involve human subjects, to ensure that the privacy and rights of those subjects are protected. In addition to the questionnaire, consent forms are developed and submitted to the IRB for review. The consent form explains the purpose of the research, the rights of the respondent, the potential benefits and harm from the research, who to contact for more information, and asks that the respondent acknowledge understanding and agreement by signing the form. SliCA had consent or assent forms for the respondent. If the respondent was a 16 or 17 year old (i.e. a minor and subject to special human subject protection measures) he or she signed an assent form while a parent or guardian signed a consent form. There were also consent and assent forms for a follow-up interview at some later time. Due to the sensitivity of the questions in the self-administered form, the IRB requested that we not ask 16 or 17 year olds to complete the self-administered form.

Please see the Alaska Questionnaire, Cover Sheet, and Consent Form links below:

bulletAlaska Questionnaire
bulletAlaska Cover Sheet
bulletAlaska Consent Forms
bulletAlaska Cue Cards
bulletAlaska Household Charts
bulletAlaska Self-Administered Form



Please see the Canadian APS/Arctic questionnaire link below:

bulletCanada Questionnaire


Please see the Swedish questionnaire link below:

bulletSweden Questionnaire

Please continue with Field Methods.