Social Sustainability Questionnaire
The Social Sustainability Survey was first developed and administered to a number of rural and urban communities in Victoria, Australia in 2006. Over the next 4 years, it was further administered to a number of diverse communities in the Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern regions. When administered in urban and regional community settings in India and Sri Lanka, the questionnaires were used as auxiliaries to interviews and consultations with coastal rural communities affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The use of the questionnaire with the City of Melbourne cohort was through a combination of randomized street and online polling. In all other cases, questionnaires were administered as part of community consultation, and participants were selected through a combination of purposive and snowball sampling in those areas. In those cases, the questionnaire accompanied a more extensive qualitative engagement in the communities sampled, through a series of ethnographic, interview-based, and observational inquiries into the community’s well-being and sustainability (see, for example, Mulligan and Shaw 2007; Scerri et al. 2009). Hence the initial aim of the questionnaire was to supplement existing qualitative research, to identify areas of community concern, rather than to offer a basis for comparative assessment. Consistent with this aim, a number of supplementary questions were included in different community settings, regional, localized, project-based, and time-based differences. For example, questionnaires administered in Sri Lanka and India after the tsunami included a module of additional questions on disaster recovery (Mulligan and Shaw 2007). A core set of variables was measured consistently throughout, with the notable exception of the City of Melbourne questionnaire administered in 2009.
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