The needs assessment is a very important part of the iSTEP project at Ashesi University College. It will help the team understand the views and attitudes of the campus community toward issues surrounding waste and water. The assessment consists of surveys, interviews, focus groups and some other methodologies that will be implemented by the entire team.
For the first time, iSTEP has been able to disseminate a survey before setting foot on the work site. This is incredible, and a result of the hardwork and collaborations between Ayorkor, our Ashesi contact, TechBridgeWorld staff, iSTEP advisors, and the iSTEP team. Though we had considered both online and paper surveys, we chose online surveys because we wanted to make sure that the deployment of the survey would yield the best response rate. Students were preparing to leave campus for the summer so, within one week we were able to plan and deploy the online survey. We are also able to implement online consent forms. We are not only saving lots of paper, but we are saving time too.
As of today, Ashesi students have submitted 41 completed surveys. This surpasses our target of 30 responses. Roughly 10% of the Ashesi student population has responded. We hope that we will have the same success with the employee survey which may go out as early as tomorrow.
The survey is about 18 questions long and is geared towards students and employees of the university. In regards to waste, we ask about disposal habits, which kinds of waste are disposed of on campus and stakeholders’ willingness to become involved in recycling initiatives. For water focused questions, we ask how often individuals use water on campus and for which purposes and whether individuals are aware of Ashesi’s water sources. The team will collect the data from the responses, checking for patterns, using the information to guide the development of a potential technology solution to waste monitoring and management and water monitoring on the campus.
We use the open source LimeSurvey software to design a template and lay out the structure of the survey. The software also enables data compilation. I will most likely import the data into Excel for analysis.
I will post a preliminary summary of the findings once we have closed the surveys.