The Today's Army Spouse Panel Proof-of-Concept Study

Methodological Report

by Thomas E. Trail, Carra S. Sims, Michael S. Pollard, Owen Hall

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Research Questions

  1. Is the TASP effective in providing timely information to the Army for informing policy decisions and allowing better understanding of the issues and concerns among Army families?
  2. Has the TASP effectively recruited participants who represent the relevant population?

Researchers evaluate the effectiveness of the Today's Army Spouse Panel (TASP), an operational proof of concept survey access panel of U.S. Army spouses, in recruiting survey participants and providing timely information representative of Army spouses to inform policy decisions and aid in better understanding of the scope of issues or concerns among Army families.

The proof-of-concept survey panel was successful, and feedback from the Army suggests that the information provided by the panel was useful for informing Army decisionmaking.

Key Findings

  • Feedback from the Army suggests that the information provided by the panel was useful for informing Army decisionmaking.
  • A weighting procedure based on a single annual timepoint enabled RAND researchers to produce survey results quickly.

Recommendations

  • Recruit and maintain a representative sample of Army spouses for a survey panel.
  • Weight panel survey results to be representative of Army spouses based on a single point-in-time documentation of the Army spouse population, updated annually, to expedite analysis and reporting of results.
  • Seek a streamlined process to approve last-minute survey topics and questions to maintain the agility of the panel in providing information in response to unanticipated events and issues.
  • Review and clear panel methodology reports early so that the Army can expedite the public release of panel survey results and provide a timely reporting of findings to Congress or other stakeholders.
  • Schedule dedicated time and resources for additional analyses as a way to take full advantage of the information obtained through panel surveys.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Panel Methodology

  • Chapter Three

    Conclusions, Lessons Learned, and Recommendations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the Personnel, Training, and Health Program within RAND Arroyo Center.

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