Since 1960 the demographic area of the U.S. Census Bureau has carried out redesigns to take advantage of contemporary innovations in sampling and survey life cycle methods. The goal of these redesigns is to stem costs while maintaining data quality. The Redesign program must also consider requirements and concerns of various stakeholders for the five surveys most directly impacted by any Redesign initiatives.
To this end, the Redesign program manager consulted with sampling and survey methods experts, survey directors and their teams, and survey sponsors at external agencies. The manager also consulted with former Redesign participants for lessons learned. The manager packaged and presented the ideas to consulted stakeholders for final review before senior division management discussed and prioritized them. The result was an initial research agenda to help kick-off the Redesign effort.
All stakeholders were informed of the results of the prioritization, and continue to be consulted as the agenda evolves. The process of gathering ideas, prioritizing and building consensus could serve as a model for similar Redesign efforts involving multiple stakeholders with diverse agenda.