The survey was distributed in September and captured input from diverse perspectives, including city and county managers, public health directors, law enforcement officials, business owners, teachers and school administrators, and leaders from a variety of not-for-profit agencies. Survey invitations also included all University alumni still living in North Carolina. In total, over 100,000 survey invitations were distributed. Approximately 31,000 individuals opened the email invitation and just over 4,000 individuals opened the survey link. The result was 3,208 complete survey responses representing every county and a diverse array of perspectives.
These rich survey data enabled detailed comparisons across counties, employment sectors, and various demographic groups to gauge similarities and differences across these domains. We applied quantitative and geo-spatial analysis tools which revealed patterns in the data as well as text analysis to extract the most common key words and phrases from responses to open-ended survey questions. These findings illustrate the most widespread concerns and priorities for recovery related to COVID-19.
Additionally, more than sixty in-depth interviews took place in October and early November. These conversations added necessary detail and depth to our quantitative findings and helped further bring the picture of COVID-19 impacts into focus. The interviews expanded opportunities for stakeholders to share stories of their experiences – the difficult, the complicated, the heartbreaking, as well as the slivers of hopefulness about the possibility that the pandemic can be a catalyst for transformative change.