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In September 2016, the then Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD[P&R]) approved the Department of Defense (DoD) Survey Burden Action Plan (ISSCC, 2016). The plan was developed by members of the Inter-Service Survey Coordinating Committee (ISSCC) to help reduce survey burden, cost, and duplication across the Department. The action plan included a number of recommendations, including conducting a feasibility study of a DoD survey panel. This panel would select a pool of individuals who would agree to participate in a select number of online surveys over a predetermined time period. Such a panel could fill an important need within DoD to quickly and scientifically collect attitudes and opinions of Service members while also reducing sample sizes and the burden required to complete large-scale surveys. For decades, probability-based panels have been part of the non-DoD survey world, having been used to survey both the general population as well as specific subpopulations (Callegaro et al., 2014; Keeter & Weisel, 2015). However, there have been challenges that have precluded the implementation of probability-based panels with currently serving military members and DoD civilian employees. This survey note examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of probability-based survey panels, discusses methodological and policy barriers impacting the feasibility of a DoD probability-based survey panel, and concludes with areas that need to be considered to move forward with a feasibility study.
Fielding Year: 2019
Produced By: H&R
Document Type: Executive Note
Product ID: 2019-020