Questionnaire Components

June 16, 2016


Any questionnaire created with this designer tool consists of sections and must have at least one section. Every section can in turn contain one or more: Sub-sectionsQuestion, Roster, Static Text, and Variables.


Subsections can contain one or more static-texts, questions, other sub-sections and rosters. They are used to group a set of questions related to a specific topic. For instance in household surveys a subsection can be used to group the questions related to the household’s characteristics. The main difference between subsections and rosters is that the questions within a sub-section are only asked once in an interview.


You can add a question at the section level (not included in any sub-section or roster), within sub-sections or rosters, or after any question in the questionnaire. The available question types are displayed in the table below. 

Type of questionIconData captured
TextAlphanumeric characters (A-Z, a-z, 0-9), basic punctuation symbols and space.
NumericNumeric characters (0-9). Integer or Real numbers. 
 A date in the Gregorian calendar.
The format of the date corresponds with the tablet’s date settings . 
Categorical: Single-select One option from a list of answer options which are mutually exclusive.
Categorical: Multi-select 
One or more options from a list of answer options. 
ListAn open list composed of alphanumeric characters (A-Z, a-z, 0-9), basic punctuation symbols and space.
GPSSet of geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude, accuracy, altitude), which identify the location of the tablet.
BarcodeOptical machine-readable representation of data relating to an object.
Picture Binary files.
Static-text Does not capture data. 



Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the same set of questions multiple times. Rosters allow you to create an auto-propagated group of questions. In other words, roster groups are used to display the same set of questions several times.
For example, a roster group can be implemented in national household or agricultural surveys. In the former the enumerator collects data on name, age, gender, etc. per household member. In the latter the enumerator collects data on crop, quantity harvested, unit of the quantity, etc. per plot of land.
As all the questions within the group will be asked for each individual or item, it is necessary to have an individual or item id (titles of the rows) that identifies each set of questions. These titles can be created automatically (during the interview) or manually (during the creation of the questionnaire). The latter are also called fixed set of items.
Survey Solutions has 4 roster sources. Three of them depend on the question type linked to the roster : numeric questionlist question and multi-select question. No question is linked to the fourth roster source: fixed set of items.



Static-texts are used to convey information to the enumerator or the interviewee. An example of the former can be: “When listing the employees, begin with the director and then continue with the names of the other employees in order of responsibility, from highest to lowest.” An example for the latter can be: “All information collected in this questionnaire is confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only.


Variables are computable expressions, which can be added to a questionnaire for convenience when operating with large and/or complex expressions. Variables are a powerful addition to the functionality of Survey Solutions. Variables can be used to simplify and improve the validation and enabling conditions. Content of variables can be used in the question text or in static text to provide more informative, dynamic questions or static text.