From September 1 to October 31, 2008, I have been conducting a survey on PS renewal and Web 2.0, using the platform QuestionPro. I originally announced the initiative by sending an e-mail to a long list of selected public servants who I thought may have more at stake in PS Renewal: middle managers, young public servants, etc.
87 people from 34 federal departments and agencies responded to the 10 questions survey. These 34 departments and agencies represent 85,4% of the 263,118 public servants working for the 107 organizations composing the Core Public Administration (FAA Sch. I and IV). Given the size of the public service of Canada, it is quite obvious that this sample of respondents constitute an extremely small fraction of the total population I was targeting.
In fact, I encountered a few obstacles with this initiative:
- In compliance with the direction I had received from my department, I administered the survey entirely on my own personal time, using my own personal email address. Consequently, many recipients who don’t know I am a federal public servant responded by asking "Just who exactly are you?”. As a result, I suspect many people chose not to fill the survey and not to forward the link to their friends or colleagues.
- Some recipients also refused to forward the link on the grounds that surveys in general consume too much of employees’ time, and people were concerned that this survey would be one too many given the upcoming launch of the 2008 Public Service Employee Survey.
- A few recipients indicated that the firewall of their department or agency prevented them from even accessing the survey (!).
- Finally, while the initial announcement was bilingual, the reminders I sent afterward as well as the survey itself were only in English. For that reason, I must stress that the survey’s results may not reflect the perspective of all public servants.
Consequently, I make no claim about the representativeness or accuracy of the results. These results are just what they are: the perspective of 87 individual public servants. Regardless, I know some readers will see the value of this exercise and will find the results interesting.
Rather than presenting all the results of the survey in a single posting, I will spread them in multiple postings over the course of the next week. Each posting will present the results of a few questions, i.e.:
- Access to Web 2.0 and PS Renewal-related Websites;
- Interest and Usefulness of PS Renewal-related Websites;
- Clarity around PS Renewal;
- Getting Involved in PS Renewal.