We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Surveys (online & informal)

Getting a broad cross-section of inputs from staff and partners

This module offers guidance on conducting informal surveys online. These are surveys with respondents that include staff and partners only, and which are used for internal planning and management. This module is not applicable for formal surveys. Formal surveys include any with beneficiaries (such as children, mothers or families) as respondents, any surveys for the purpose of research, for collection of statistically representative data (for example, on the situation of beneficiaries), for any kind of publication, or as part of formal evaluations. To obtain guidance on formal surveys, consult experts in research design and standards, evaluation, or data and analytics, and adhere to any relevant and applicable organizational guidance on these topics, including ethics procedures.

A well-run informal survey can act as a primary source of information for understanding the needs, opinions and experiences of a group of staff and partners; monitoring or assessing their views concerning relevant projects/ initiatives; and informing future planning.

A survey begins with a set of well-formulated questions. Each survey respondent answers the questions independently. Together the responses from all participants make up the survey results, which are analyzed and presented through a report combining text with appropriate visuals.


  • Online survey tool (SurveyMonkey, Excel online (part of Office 365), Google Forms, Typeform, etc.)
  • 15 or more respondents
  • Preparation time: several weeks (time to prepare the survey, then up to 2 weeks for the survey to run, and then time for analysis and presentation of the results)

Download the full module on online and informal Surveys (PDF), including when and why to use, how to apply, tips for success, variations, and references. 



New enhanced search