Baseline Survey: Definition, Types, + [ Questionnaire Example] (2023)

Before kicking off a new project, it’s best to find out what the state of things are. This helps you to determine the focus of your project, and outline priority areas. A baseline survey consists of a set of questions about the status of a subject matter.

Conducting a baseline survey isn’t just about listing questions; you need to be strategic about the entire process and align your questions with the goals of your project. At the end of this article, you will understand how to create the right baseline surveys for your project.

What is a Baseline Survey?

A baseline survey happens right before a project kicks off, and it helps the researcher to gather information about the state of different variables in the systematic investigation. It also helps the researcher to understand the status quo and identify priority areas for the research.

In some way, a baseline survey allows you to define where you are and where you are going, in terms of the project. Simply put, it measures key conditions (indicators) before a project begins against which change and progress can be assessed.

Let’s say you are organizing an intervention programme to improve literacy levels in a community. Before starting the programme, you need to conduct a baseline survey to know what you are dealing with—how many people are illiterate in the community? What’s the highest level of education in the community? Are there members of the community who suffer segregation and have been prevented from accessing education in the community?

Baseline Survey: Definition, Types, + [ Questionnaire Example] (1)

Once you have all of this information, you can go ahead to streamline the project’s goals, identify its priority areas, outline your KPIs and the like. To get the most out of baseline surveys, you should draft good survey questions that align with the goals and objectives of your research.

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Types of Baseline Survey

Baseline surveys are categorized into two major types. They are;

Nutrition Baseline Survey

A nutrition baseline survey allows researchers to assess, monitor and evaluate the level of poverty in its target community. It provides actionable data to help the researcher develop the right poverty intervention program for the community.

Nutrition baseline surveys combine techniques and procedures to collect useful data from the audience. Typically, the questions in the survey concerns socio-economic and health contexts, plus some degree of ethnographic research for insightful data collection.

KAP Survey

A KAP survey is a quantitative method of collecting useful data on knowledge, attitude and practices of your target audience before kicking off an intervention program. KAP surveys measure the extent of a known situation, confirm or disprove a hypothesis and provide new insights into the reality of a situation affecting your target audience.

How to Conduct a Baseline Survey

  1. Understand the aim of the survey
  2. Prepare your budget
  3. Plan for Data analysis
  4. Consistency is Key
  • Understand the Aim of the Survey

First, you need to define the primary aim of the survey; that is, what you want to achieve. This is important because you need to streamline your questions within the context of these goals. For example, if you want to solve the drug addiction problem in a community, your questions should focus on defining the problem and knowing the level of damage it has caused.

When you align your questions with the goals of your research, you’d gather more valid responses. So, start with figuring out your goals, defining the data you need for your research and then, draft questions to help you gather this data. That’s the best place to start your baseline survey from.

  • Prepare Your Budget

Your budget is one of the most important things for a baseline survey so you need to sort it out as soon as possible. Here, you should consider what you want to achieve, the resources you need to pull it off and then, draw up a budget.

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Baseline Survey: Definition, Types, + [ Questionnaire Example] (2)

Your budget should be holistic so don’t forget to build in the cost for personnel services too. For example, if you plan to conduct a telephone interview or organize a focus group to get information, you’ll need to reflect these costs in your budget.

  • Plan for Data Analysis

Baseline surveys are not just about gathering information from the target audience. You need to organize and interpret the data you have to arrive at the right responses. This is why you should take data analysis seriously as you would take the actual data collection process.

If you’ve used a Formplus form for your survey, you wouldn’t have any problems with data analysis. In our form analytics dashboard, you can instantly generate custom visual reports from responses while viewing important metrics like the respondents’ demographic information.

Once you’ve analyzed and grouped the information into data sets, it’s time to tie it to your goals. At this point, you should be pulling at all strings to create a better understanding of what you have, and where, when, and how it comes in handy.

  • Consistency is Key

In all, you don’t have to wait until you have the perfect baseline survey before you go live and send the survey out to your target audience. There’s no way to know if your survey did well or not without testing it with your target audience.

The best way to ensure that a baseline survey will collect the right data is through piloting. A pilot tests out all aspects of a survey — question flow, order, language, etc — before the survey goes live. The fact that you have everything figured out doesn’t mean you should shut down new concepts and ideas.

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How to Use Formplus for Baseline Surveys

Formplus is a data collection tool for creating surveys, whether online or offline. Let’s show you how to create a baseline survey with Formplus. You’ll need to have a Formplus account for this—you can sign up for one here.

1. Sign into your Formplus account to access the dashboard. Click on the create new form button at the dashboard’s top corner to access the builder.

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2. On the left side of the builder, you’ll find the fields section with more than 30 form fields you can add to your baseline survey.

Baseline Survey: Definition, Types, + [ Questionnaire Example] (4)

3. Drag and drop the form fields you want into your survey. Then use the pencil icon beside each field to edit them as you want.

Baseline Survey: Definition, Types, + [ Questionnaire Example] (5)

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4. After editing each field, click on the save icon to automatically access the form customization section.

5. Here, use the different customization options to tweak the look and feel of your baseline survey—you can change the form font, add background images without writing a single code.

6. Use the form sharing options to share the survey with respondents.

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7. In the form analytics dashboard, you can create custom visual reports from your form data and also monitor form responses.

Importance of Baseline Survey

  1. A baseline survey allows the researcher to understand the research problem by gathering information on the status quo.
  2. It provides a reference point for tracking the project’s progress; that is, to measure the degree and quality of change during an activity’s implementation.
  3. Baseline surveys provide quantitative data on how a problem affects specific groups in the research population.
  4. Baseline surveys serve as a benchmark for all future activities, where project managers can refer to for the purposes of making project management decisions.
  5. It helps you to define the project’s priority areas and to understand the impact of your project.
  6. A baseline survey is an important tool that is used to record measurements of key performance indicators.


Capturing the right information about your research subjects or target audience with a baseline survey helps you to align your project with the primary needs of your target audience. The data from baseline surveys serve as a benchmark for measuring the impact of your project when it is time for the endline survey.

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A baseline survey should be conducted right before the intervention begins, as this allows you to minimize the effect of external variables as much as possible. Formplus makes it easy for you to organize the data from your baseline surveys for meaningful insights.


What is a baseline survey questionnaire? ›

A baseline survey is a study that is done at the beginning of a project to collect information on the status of a subject (anything from crop yields to birth weights) before any type of intervention can affect it. An endline survey, on the other hand, is the study conducted after the end of that intervention.

What are the types of baseline? ›

In project management there are three baselines – schedule baseline, cost baseline and scope baseline. The combination of all three baselines is referred to as the performance measurement baseline. A baseline is a fixed schedule, which represents the standard that is used to measure the performance of the project.

What is the purpose of a baseline? ›

The purpose of the baseline information is to assess the effect of the program and to compare what happens before and after the program has been implemented. Without baseline data, it's difficult to estimate any changes or to demonstrate progress, so it's best to capture baseline whenever possible.

What is the main purpose of a baseline study? ›

A baseline study is an analysis of the current situation to identify the starting points for a programme or project. It looks at what information must be considered and analyzed to establish a baseline or starting point, the benchmark against which future progress can be assessed or comparisons made.

What is a baseline example? ›

For example, a public company will track the performance of each product line by choosing one year as a baseline and measuring all subsequent years against it. A baseline is typically used when a financial statement or budget analysis is prepared.

What is a baseline data example? ›

Some examples of this measure of data collection include: Number of words read. Number of times a student gets out of their seat. Number of times students raise their hands.

What are the four project baselines? ›

To baseline a project, you'll typically need four elements: milestones, budget, schedule, and scope.

What are the 7 types of surveys? ›

What are the different types of survey methods? The 10 most common survey methods are online surveys, in-person interviews, focus groups, panel sampling, telephone surveys, post-call surveys, mail-in surveys, pop-up surveys, mobile surveys, and kiosk surveys.

What are the 5 types of survey questions? ›

Guide to the Five Types of Survey Questions
  • Open-Ended Questions.
  • Multiple Choice Questions.
  • Ordinal Scale Questions.
  • Interval Scale Questions.
  • Ratio Scale Questions.
12 Jun 2022

What are the 4 types of survey methods? ›

Types of surveys
  • Online surveys: One of the most popular types is an online survey. ...
  • Paper surveys: As the name suggests, this survey uses the traditional paper and pencil approach. ...
  • Telephonic Surveys: Researchers conduct these over telephones. ...
  • One-to-One interviews: ...
  • Cross-sectional studies.

Is baseline data quantitative or qualitative? ›

Baseline data can be quantitative or qualitative or a combination of both.

What is baseline study report? ›

The purpose of a baseline study is to provide an information base against which to monitor and assess an activity's progress and effectiveness during implementation and after the activity is completed.

What is a baseline report? ›

A baseline report is a Comprehensive Assessment report to which you compare another Comprehensive Assessment report. In Security Assessment, you can compare two Comprehensive Assessment reports. You set one of the reports as the baseline report, and then compare the other report to the baseline report.

What is baseline process? ›

Definition of Process Baseline: « Back to Glossary Index. The average long-term performance of an output characteristic or a process (Y) when all the input variables (x) are running in an unconstrained fashion.

What's another word for baseline? ›

What is another word for baseline?
26 more rows

How do you set a baseline? ›

Update a baseline
  1. Select the new task you want to add to the baseline. ...
  2. Click Project > Set baseline > Set Baseline, and then pick the baseline you want to update.
  3. In the Set Baseline dialog box, pick the baseline you want to update.
  4. Under For, click Selected tasks.

What are the methods of baseline data collection? ›

Baseline data is to be collected on land use, land cover, land environment, ambient air quality, water environment, biological environment, and socioeconomic factors. The baseline study involves gathering and evaluating information from existing sources and collecting field data.

What are the characteristics of baseline study? ›

Baseline characteristics or data are demographic, medical and other information, particularly prognostic variables. Researchers collect this information about each participant at the beginning of a study, before they have received the treatments that are going to be compared in a treatment comparison.

What is baseline model? ›

A baseline model is essentially a simple model that acts as a reference in a machine learning project. Its main function is to contextualize the results of trained models. Baseline models usually lack complexity and may have little predictive power. Regardless, their inclusion is a necessity for many reasons.

What are the methods used for establishing baselines? ›

Many research methods can be used in baseline studies, including those described above in the programme planning section such as surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Visual items, including photographs, maps and diagrams, are important pieces of data and are often underused in a baseline study.

What is baseline data in research? ›

What is baseline data and how is it collected? Baseline data is a measurement that is collected prior to intervention or teaching starting. It can be collected through various measures including: percent accuracy, frequency, duration, rate and intervals.

What type of study is a KAP survey? ›

Knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) surveys are representative of a specific population to collect information on what is known, believed and done in relation to a particular topic, and are the most frequently used study tool in health-seeking behavior research [17].

What does baseline report mean? ›

A baseline report is a Comprehensive Assessment report to which you compare another Comprehensive Assessment report. In Security Assessment, you can compare two Comprehensive Assessment reports. You set one of the reports as the baseline report, and then compare the other report to the baseline report.

Is baseline data quantitative or qualitative? ›

Baseline data can be quantitative or qualitative or a combination of both.

How is baseline measured? ›

Average the data entries by totaling the numbers and dividing the sum by the number of entries. The resulting figure is your baseline average. As an example, the data 100, 150 and 200 would be averaged as (100+150+200) / 3, which equals 150.

What's another word for baseline? ›

What is another word for baseline?
26 more rows

What is baseline sampling? ›

A baseline reference sample is a sample of new or unused product submitted to the fluid analysis laboratory. Submitting a baseline sample allows you to gain an understanding of the starting values of the product in use.

What is KAB survey? ›

INTRODUCTION. A Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior (KAB) survey is used to obtain information about a group of individuals with common attributes. The KAB survey or questionnaire is designed to accurately measure trends in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors associated with a select product.

How is KAP survey done? ›

In most KAP surveys, data are collected orally by an interviewer using a structured, standardized questionnaire. These data then can be analysed quantitatively or qualitatively depending on the objectives and design of the study.

How is level of knowledge measured in research? ›

In this research, knowledge has been measured through a variety of methods such as subjective self-perceptions, paper-and-pencil tests (conventionally called objective tests), product ownership, usage experience with a product, and free response techniques such as free elicitation (see Mitchell 1982; Cole, Gaeth, and ...

How is baseline data collected? ›

The baseline study involves gathering and evaluating information from existing sources and collecting field data. The existing sources of information (secondary data) may include databases, reports, and local community. Primary data is generated through field works, which include monitoring and surveys.

What is baseline value? ›

The baseline value is a central element for the threshold when creating monitors of type Dynamic. The baseline is calculated from measurements collected at a specific time each day for the last N days, or a specific time for the same weekday the last N weeks.


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