Step Three: Collect and Analyze Data

Two people wearing masks reviewing data at a table


Human Subject Considerations

Check whether your agency or organization requires Human Subjects or Institutional Review Board (IRB) review for collecting community data.

If your organization requires IRB review, consult with the coordinator to determine whether an IRB review is needed or whether your project is exempt. Some groups may not require IRB review or may have exemptions or emergency processes to collect data quickly during a situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participant Recruitment

After identifying the communities of focus, recruit a mix of people within those communities. Include different ages, gender identities, races/ethnicities, primary languages, national origins, educations, and occupations. Partner with organizations already strongly connected to communities of focus to advertise and recruit assessment participants and save time.

Consider reaching out to:

  • Professional associations
  • Trade unions
  • Community-based organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Neighborhood/homeowners associations
  • Colleges/universities
  • Online communities representing local groups
  • Health plans and accountable care organizations

Additional recruitment tips:

  • Consider various methods to reach potential participants including email, text message, social media, traditional media, and newsletters.
  • Token incentives such as gift cards or retail discount coupons may increase response and participation rates.
  • Consider where people in your focus community live, work, learn, and socialize. See table below for related examples.

Guidance for Recruiting Participants and Related Examples

Guidance for Recruiting Participants and Related Examples
Where does this community of focus… Guiding Questions Recruitment Example
Live Consider physical location and networks that connect this subpopulation. Where do people spend a lot of time or stay in touch with their neighbors in the time of COVID-19? If you’re looking to recruit from a neighborhood disproportionately affected by COVID-19:
  • Find out what previous efforts in community mitigation and contact tracing were used to reach this community and use what worked.
  • Put up flyers on the community bulletin board at the local coffee shop or grocery store.
  • Ask the local neighborhood association to post about the assessment in its closed social media group.
Work Consider workplace and professional networks that connect this subpopulation, including those not formally employed. Where do people earn a living locally? Are there large employers that are more likely to employ your subpopulation? If you’re looking to recruit farm workers in a rural community:
  • Approach farm companies that are big employers in the area and community organizations that serve undocumented immigrants who work on nearby farms.
  • Run targeted ads on social media platforms popular with this subpopulation.
  • Engage through local churches or houses of worship widely attended by people working in farming.
Learn Consider the education system to either directly identify assessment participants or serve as network connections to participants–from small, private daycare facilities, preschools,  elementary school, and high schools to trade schools and universities. Educational institutions usually have deep connections to communities. If you’re trying to recruit college students at a large commuter campus:
  • Reach out to college administration staff to find out how to best promote to students.
  • Run an ad on or give an interview with a local DJ at the college radio station.
  • Find out if there is a student public health or community association and contact it to publicize the opportunity to members.
  • Advertise on social media or dating platforms popular with local college students.
Socialize Consider social groups and interactions that may take place online and offline, including those involving community organizations and worship. How do people socialize or worship in the time of COVID-19? How do they get community services? Are there affinity groups you can contact? If you’re looking to recruit people with disabilities or those who may face access barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in a community:
  • Find local community or business associations for people with disabilities.

These groups might include work-placement organizations, arts and enrichment programs, and
mobility/transportation programs.

  • Ask if you can promote the assessment opportunity in a future email or event.

Data Collection Tools and Analysis

Several tools and templates exist for you to use and build on if you do not have data collection tools available. Download the Rapid Community Assessment Toolszip icon.

Summary of available tools

Summary of available tools
Tool Objective
COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Learning Templatepdf icon A template that helps you document and learn from successes and challenges during previous phases of COVID-19 vaccine rollout to prepare for subsequent phases.
Implementation Guide for Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Listening Sessionspdf icon KII: Individual structured interviews useful for gathering information about a specific topic. KIIs can provide individual perspective and a nuanced understanding of issues in the community regarding COVID-19 vaccine confidence.
Listening Sessions: Guided discussions with a small group of participants chosen based on their role or their organization’s role in the community. Like KIIs, listening sessions can provide a nuanced understanding of community questions, concerns, and perspectives toward COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Observation Formpdf icon Attend and observe meetings where the target audiences congregate or observe listening sessions facilitated by others.
Vaccine Confidence Survey Question Bankpdf icon Questionnaires that assess how people think and feel, what social processes affect their lives, what practical obstacles they face, and what their motivation is to get vaccinated.
Social Listening and Monitoring Toolpdf icon Social listening refers to the process of collecting data from social and traditional media platforms to track online discussions, trends, and sentiments about a topic. It is useful for understanding the information landscape (including misinformation) and concerns and attitudes of your community of focus. It also can inform digital marketing and communication strategies.

Data Synthesis

The Vaccine Insights Synthesis Toolpdf icon can help to structure, visualize, and compare all the findings from your assessment in a systematic manner.

Choosing Assessment Tools

Before beginning the assessment, determine your organization’s capacity. Some factors to consider:

  • Available budget
  • Available time
  • Available staff
  • Accounting of tools already being used. (You may wish to choose different tools to avoid duplication of data already collected or available.)
  • Expected/desired timeline
  • Existing partnerships/links to communities
Choosing Assessment Tools
Basic Assessment Qualitative and Survey Assessment Comprehensive Assessment
Vaccine Rollout Learning Template
Social Listening Tools
Key Informant Interviews
Listening Sessions
Vaccine Rollout Learning Template
Social Listening Tools
Page last reviewed: October 6, 2021