DEPRECATED in 1.6.x - See Question Groups for new functionality.

Surveys provide a means for collecting information about a user or a group that can then be used, for example, when assessing loan applications, poverty levels, and for measuring impact and creating exit and collateral surveys.  MFIs first create a common set of survey questions. Users can then choose from these questions when defining surveys. Surveys can be attached to clients, groups, centers, loan accounts, and savings accounts. The same survey can be attached multiple times to the same entity to track historical changes over time.

Defining survey questions

Survey questions are defined from the Define questions link on the Admin tab. They are defined at the HO level; AO’s and BO’s cannot define new questions.

For each question, the user specifies the question name, the question, the question type and the possible answers, as described in the following table.

Table 1: Attributes for Question Definition
S No.Attribute NameData TypeRangeDescription
Short NameText (50)50 charactersShort name of the question i.e.  'Annual Family Income' instead of 'what is your annual family income'. Duplicates will be checked using this field. This field will also preface the full question whenever Questions are displayed
QuestionText (4000)4000 charactersQuestion (as it will appear in the surveys) will be added here. Number of characters for the question '/' can be max 4000 but only 500 characters will be displayed in the question list.
Answer Type and Answers
See 3a - 3e
3a.Single Select
Number of options; Text fields = number of optionsNumber of options can be maximum 20. These answers will have radio buttons.
Minimum Value allowed; Maximum Value allowedSpecifies the range of allowable answers that a question can have.
3c.DateNoneNoneDefinition of date will be inherited from MFI. If marked mandatory; at least option must be selected.
3d.Multi SelectNumber of options; Text fields = number of optionsNumber of options can be maximum 20. These answers will have check boxes.
3e.Free Text
Number of characters (1-4000 characters)User can define what size text field s/he wants to allow so some response fields can be a single line, others a large box.
Active;InactiveQuestions can be marked as inactive if they are not part of any survey. Inactive questions will not be visible in the Questions list displayed when creating a survey; however they will still be displayed in the Question Bank.

The user enters the possible answer choices one at a time. After each entry, he clicks Add, and the answer is added to the choice list. Once the answer choices are defined, he clicks Add Question, and the question is displayed as a preview. When the user has finished adding questions, he clicks Submit. The questions are added to the question bank and are available for use in surveys. The user is returned to the Admin tab.

Note the following:

  • Before a question is saved, it is validated for duplication against the Short Name field.
  • The Answer choice text box is available only if either Single Select or Multi Select has been select in the Answer type drop down field.
  • Once defined, questions can be modified by clicking the View question bank link and then selecting the question.
  • Questions cannot be deleted, as they can be part of one or more surveys, but the status of the question can be changed to active or inactive on the edit page. Inactive questions are not displayed when surveys are defined.

[how are questions flagged for PPI?]

Questions in the question bank can be viewed by clicking the View question bank link on the Admin tab.

Defining surveys

A new survey is defined by clicking the Define new survey link on the Admin tab. The user names the survey, specifies who the survey applies to, and adds questions to the survey, which have already been defined in the question bank.

The fields are defined in the following attributes table.

S No.Attribute NameData TypeRangeDescription
Survey Name

Duplicate survey names will be allowed
Survey Type
Client; Group; Center; Loan; Savings; AllSpecifies who the survey applies to... Client/Group/Center together are grouped as customers when browsing surveys; Loan/Savings are grouped as Accounts
Creation Date

Add Questions to Survey
Search Results or All QuestionsQuestions will be added to the survey in the order of selection. Reordering of questions in survey will not be allowed

Specify which questions have to be marked as Mandatory in the survey. There is currently an issue in Mifos (Issue 2446) where if you set a question as Mandatory, you cannot unset it. Workaround is to create a new question and replace it in the survey.
Active;InactiveSurveys can be made inactive if they are not attached to any record

The questions are added to the survey one at a time, by selecting a question displayed in the list box and clicking the button. The question name and the question itself are then displayed in the bottom portion of the screen. The user can mark the question as mandatory. He can click Delete to remove the question from the survey.

When the list of questions is complete, the user clicks the Preview button to view the survey. He can click Edit Survey Information at this point to edit the list of selected questions. When he clicks Submit, the survey becomes active and available for use. A confirmation page is displayed, with a View survey details now link and a Define a new survey link.

Once submitted, a survey cannot be edited [true?]. Surveys can be deleted only if they have not been attached to any record. However, they can be hidden, so that they cannot be attached to any new survey. Multiple instances of the same survey in the same state are allowed.

Viewing surveys

Existing surveys can be viewed from the View surveys link on the Admin tab or by clicking the View all surveys link on an account details page. The system displays all existing surveys grouped by who the survey applies to (group, center, client, etc).  Users can view a specific survey by clicking its link on this page. On the survey details page, users can click the Printer version link to display a printer-friendly version of the survey and the Edit survey link, to edit the survey.

Completing and attaching surveys

Surveys are completed and attached to an account (client, group, center, loan, or savings) from the account details page. When a user clicks the Attach a survey link, in the Surveys box, Mifos displays a Select a survey box with a list of surveys applicable to the account type. The user selects a survey and enters the date of the survey and the officer who conducted the survey and then completes the questions in the survey. When completed, the user previews the information entered. He can click Clear All to re-enter information or Submit to save the survey results.

The system validates that required questions are answered and displays the survey name in the Surveys box on the account details page. Multiple instances of the survey can be attached to the record.

The information in completed surveys can be used to generate custom reports.

Progress out of Poverty Index survey

The Progress out of Poverty Index Survey is a country-specific survey that is used to determine the likelihood of a client belonging to a specific poverty level. An MFI uses this information on a portfolio level to calculate overall poverty rates. At the client level, the information is used to determine which products to offer a client or to track loan repayments/retention/recruitment rates of clients falling into each of the poverty buckets.

The surveys for each country include 10 questions. For each question, points are associated with each possible answer. The total number of points for a completed survey is called the poverty index score. For each country, a poverty likelihood chart is defined that maps the poverty index score to a percentage indicating the likelihood that a client is non-poor, at-risk, poor, or very poor. For example, in India, if a client receives a poverty index score of 52, that means that the client has a 2.5% change of being very poor, a 10.8% chance of being poor, and a 86.7% change of being non-poor.

Configuring PPI settings

An MFI can define the poverty index score range for each poverty level from the Configure PPI Settings link on the Admin tab. This is optional; an MFI can use the PPI survey but choose not to have its score impact their clients’ poverty status.

The user selects a country and sets the status to Active or Inactive. For each poverty status level, the user defines a point range, and then clicks Preview. On the Preview page, the user clicks Submit.

PPI settings can be viewed and edited from the View PPI settings link on the Admin tab.

Once a Poverty Index Survey has been defined for an MFI, a link to it appears in the Survey box on every client account details page.

Because Poverty Index Surveys and their corresponding Poverty Likelihood Charts change so infrequently, there is no user interface for entering this information and must be implemented directly into Mifos.  Any changes to the survey and the chart will impact only future surveys and scores.

Completing a PPI Survey

PPI surveys can be attached to client accounts only. To complete a PPI Survey for a client, the user clicks the Attach a survey link on the client details page and selects the survey from the drop-down list. The user enters the date the survey data was collected. Surveys can be back-dated with no restriction. The user then completes the survey questions and clicks Preview. The system checks to ensure all mandatory questions are answered. The total score is calculated, which can be between 0 and 100. The Status field is automatically calculated by Mifos, based on the total score and the defined poverty levels. The user clicks Submit, or can click Clear All to re-enter the answers.

If poverty levels have been configured, then a poverty field is attached to the client details page under a new section called Poverty measurement information, which has the following fields: Poverty measurement tool; Poverty band. 

At any time, these survey results can be edited or deleted. If edits change the poverty status, this will automatically be reflected in the Poverty field on the details page. If a survey is deleted, the associated poverty status and scores are also removed and the Poverty field reverts back to the previous score.