Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Prototype Point-of-Purchase Study for IDD


To suggest ideas for conducting a needs assessment for message design. This is a pilot qualitative study on available salts, preferences, costs, and use.


The following questions are meant as a guide for a pilot study concerning salt use and the potential for point-of-purchase education about iodized salt. They are not meant to produce numbers for publication or precise measurement of attitudes and knowledge. Instead, they are designed for a quick and very rapid initial data collection tool.

Because it is not a rigorous survey, the questions do not need to be asked precisely as they are stated below, but the intent of the question should be served. Also, a precise design and sampling scheme is not proposed. Instead, four or five communities (villages) or towns should be identified in a number of representative areas, e.g. IDD endemic mountainous areas, IDD endemic plain areas, non endemic areas, coastal areas, urban areas, etc. About thirty mothers in each community should be interviewed at home.

To select mothers, you might pick a random start in each community. After that interview ask your informant to name any friends or neighbors who would be willing to be interviewed. (This technique is called snowball sampling). Try to include as broad a range of mothers and communities as you can in your sample. Should it prove necessary, precise estimates can be made in a subsequent survey. This data collection method will capture the most obvious features of salt purchasing and a range of salt use and opinion. The data collected should be sufficient to plan about the next steps.

Once the data are collected, each interviewer should summarize the findings.

For example:
  • In question 1, the interviewer will list all the kinds of salt mentioned by all the mothers. That is sufficient.
  • In questions 2 and 3, the interviewer will sum the major salts and prices, write down the places, distances, frequencies, etc. Further analysis should be performed at the pilot study project office.
  • Questions 4 and 5 should be analyzed at the study project office. Cross-tabs may be performed with responses to other questions.
  • Question 6 should be a simple yes or no. The second part of the question should be analyzed at the project office.
  • For questions 7 and 8, the interviewer should be asked to summarize the responses of the mothers he or she has talked to. This summary would be in the form of a one page review of the responses. Numbers here count less than the general impression that the interviewer can capture from the mothers.
  • Question 9, the interviewer should summarize the response and average the cost figures. Additional analysis can be performed at the project office.
  • Questions 10-13 should be analyzed at the project office. Cross-tabs may be performed with responses to questions 2,3,6 and other responses.
  • Question 14. The interviewer should mention the most interesting suggestions made by mothers in the interviews.


Interview date:
Interview time:
Interview place:
Respondents age:
Respondents position in household:


1. Name all the different kinds of salt available in this town:
Name of salt:
Cost/each (gram)
Use (special use)

2. What kinds of salt did you buy last month?
Who bought the salt:
Where was it purchased:
What other items were purchased with it:

3. For your preferred salt:
Where do you buy it?
How far away is this source?
How long does it take to get there?
How much does it cost to get there?
How do you get there?
How often do you buy this salt in a month?

4. Do you know what visible goiter is?

5. Do you know anyone with goiter? If yes, who?

6. Have you heard about iodized salt (if no, go to #7)
If yes: What do you know about it?
Do you think it is important to use iodized salt? Why?

7. If distributors of salt were trained, would you or other purchasers be willing to listen to an explanation about why salt is iodized?

8. Would posters or other pamphlets be useful to read while you're waiting to pay or leave the store?

9. Would you pay more for iodized salt?

10. If you are willing, we would like to ask you some personal questions
Do you read? Read well? (if no, is there someone at home who does read?)
How many years of school have you had?
How would you characterize your household: very poor, poor, average, well-off, rich?

11. Do you have any other ideas about how to enhance the purchase of iodized salt?

ICEC Tulane University