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Feedback Helps BAM Network Better Listen to its People GMI Connection - Issue 5 : Article 3

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nl5-2.jpgFeedback Helps BAM Network Better Listen to its People

Brad leads a business as mission (BAM) network that provides accountability, support and encouragement to those leading Kingdom enterprises—businesses designed to see the Gospel advanced and communities blessed in areas that can be difficult.

 

To monitor the status of these businesses, and to discover ways that his ministry can help them, Brad planned to survey the network by programming his own online survey. But first he made a call to GMI.

 

Brad had attended a webinar about online research tools led by GMI researcher James Nelson (pseudonym). He knew that do-it-yourself online research tools made asking questions easy. But he also knew that professional feedback would help the team avoid mistakes and make the survey more likely to accomplish its objectives.

 

An initial call was followed by a longer conversation to discuss survey plans and ideas. One issue Brad's team wanted to understand is how business owners contend with corruption in their host cultures. However, they were concerned about the potential offense of asking directly about the issue—as well as whether business owners would answer the question honestly. GMI helped them to position the issue in a way that would overcome both problems.

 

We reviewed the survey again after it was programmed to help the team make final adjustments. One tweak was reformatting a set of six questions into two easier-to-manage items.

 

"Wow, is this ever helpful," Brad said. "What a difference an outside, experienced set of eyes makes. Thank you."

 

As a support-assisted ministry, GMI offers professional research services at a far lower cost than commercial firms. But this review of Brad's survey plan and the programmed survey was completely free! Brad's organization is a member of Missio Nexus, an association that helps mission agencies to network and to connect with professional resources designed to help mission leaders. As Missio Nexus' Consultant for Mission Research, GMI's Nelson provides complimentary consultations for network members.

 

Doing consultations like this encourages agencies to do their own research while avoiding the pitfalls of inexperience. It also leads to conversations about additional research services that GMI may provide if the need demands. Agencies, Missio Nexus and GMI all win through this arrangement.

 

If your agency—or one you know of—could use an over-the-shoulder look at an online survey, a conversation about how to approach a research issue, or a proposal for an extensive research project—contact James at jim(at)gmi.org. If your agency is interested in research but doesn't have a particular project in mind, we recommend following the GMI Research Blog and following us on Twitter for a regular supply of mission research ideas.

 

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