State departments of transportation (DOTs) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) committees conduct periodic surveys to learn how different transportation agencies are approaching common needs, providing for technology transfer and improved state DOT and AASHTO committee operations. The survey results are generally compiled and distributed to state DOTs and AASHTO committees and members after the survey closes. However, with the exception of the surveys conducted by AASHTO’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) (https://research.transportation.org/rac-surveys/), there is little to no coordinated effort to make the survey results available for long-term access to other state DOTs and AASHTO committees. Current survey distribution efforts in place include informal or simple email distribution, to more established systems such as the process within RAC. However, none of the current solutions match the needs of the community as a whole.
Lack of established procedures and long-term access to completed survey instruments and survey results lead to inefficiency and duplication of effort. Members of other state DOTs and AASHTO committees may decide to conduct surveys that duplicate previous efforts, increasing “survey fatigue” among DOT staff required to respond to multiple surveys. Other AASHTO committee members who could make use of the completed survey efforts to inform and improve their agency practices may not be aware of the previous efforts. Over time, as state DOT staff and committee members turn over, knowledge of the previous survey efforts and their results is lost, and the value gained from the effort to design, conduct, complete, analyze, and summarize survey results is wasted.
To maximize the efficiencies of current survey efforts, a need exists for a platform (or multiple platforms) to distribute, store, archive, and retrieve survey instruments and survey results conducted by state DOTs and AASHTO committees and make them easily accessible. The platforms will help avoid future survey duplication and increase awareness of available survey instruments and survey results to all state DOTs and AASHTO committees.
NCHRP has identified a contractor to undertake a feasibility study to identify appropriate platforms to (1) distribute survey instruments from state DOTs and AASHTO committees; and (2) store, archive, and retrieve survey results. The study should provide recommendations on what platforms could be developed (or how to use existing platforms), the required stakeholder engagement, strategies to service the platforms, the cost of developing and maintaining (including staffing and technology needs) the platforms, and other mechanics around the operation of the platforms.
In meeting the above, the contractor will consider, at a minimum, the following:
- The quantity and frequency of surveys being conducted by state DOTs and AASHTO committees.
- If and where existing survey instruments and survey results are stored, and how they are accessed by those interested in them.
- The sensitivity or confidentiality of survey results that may require access controls (e.g., restrict results to certain users only; post results in summary form only, etc.).