The Pulse Survey is a collaborative data-collection effort designed to help stakeholders understand the conditions affecting the families of vulnerable children ages 0-5 in Battle Creek, with the intent of exploring and improving the delivery of health, education, and financial services and supports to those families. The survey was developed by the System exChange Team at MSU, BC Pulse, and an advisory committee representing organizations providing health, education, and financial services and supports in the Battle Creek community.
The Pulse Survey was launched in summer 2014; data was collected from 574 vulnerable families across 14 data collection sites in Battle Creek. The survey was designed around the community problem solving framework: a framework that reflects the ways key community conditions (e.g., service quality and accessibility, responsive providers, community mindsets, service coordination) contribute to individuals’ and families’ attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The specific areas of interest within this framework were identified by members of the local advisory committee to guide the design and use of the survey.
Because past data collection efforts often obscured the inequities within Battle Creek, the Pulse Survey was intentionally designed to understand where and how disparities emerge. By oversampling vulnerable families of color, we ensured a sufficient sample size within each subgroup to allow us to conduct multiple subgroup comparisons on our targeted outcomes. Overall, this approach resulted in great insight about how specific populations differentially experience the system and success. Future Pulse Surveys will continue this practice, allowing participating partners to learn more about how disparities play out in the service delivery system and how to address them collectively.
On November 6, 2014, the first round of data was released for community conversation. During two 3.5 hour sessions, stakeholders associated with the Impact Academy and the Action Learning Groups reviewed key findings, paying particular attention to areas where different groups were having significantly different experiences in seeking positive outcomes for their children or families.