|Houston Endowment, Inc. has funded three comprehensive surveys, designed to assess systematically Harris County residents' experiences and attitudes with regard to the arts, educational disparities, and public health issues in urban America.
The surveys are being developed in consultation with local leaders and experts, many of whom are serving on one of three yearlong Advisory Panels, to help in the process of fashioning and interpreting the survey questions in each of these three key areas of urban life.
Led by Professor Stephen L. Klineberg, the research team is now in the process of finalizing the survey instruments. The actual surveys were conducted during the fall of 2011 and the summer of 2012, in telephone interviews with a scientifically selected representative sample of 1,200 Harris County residents each.
The project will culminate in one major conference in the fall of 2012 and one local symposium at Rice University in 2013, which will bring renowned academic scholars and urban experts into conversation with local leaders and researchers, to review the central findings from these surveys and explore their implications for the development of public policies that can help to strengthen the arts, address the educational disparities, and enhance community health in cities across America.
The specific stated objectives of the research project are as follows:
- Identify the best current practices in survey research and sampling methodologies
- Establish three yearlong advisory panels to identify the critical research questions to be addressed in each area of research.
- Develop new survey questionnaires and oversee the data collection process.
- Analyze and compile the survey findings to provide a comprehensive assessment of the experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of Harris County residents, with regard to central issues affecting the arts, education, and health.
- Make use of the survey findings to encourage new partnerships and conversations throughout the Houston area and beyond.
- Host local and national conferences and symposia to enhance the overall visibility and value of the research being conducted in the social sciences at Rice University.