About CivicPulse

Power Almanac partnered with CivicPulse to conduct this survey.   CivicPulse is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to filling the gap in access to high quality information about local government. Founded in 2018 by a few PhD students at Stanford University’s Department of Political Science, and led by Dr. Nathan Lee, professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), CivicPulse combines recurring national surveys of local government leaders with a variety of other data sources to provide trustworthy insights for policymakers, citizens, and the broader stakeholder community.

Methodology and Sample

CivicPulse  uses Power Almanac’s continuously updated contact list of the appointed and elected officials associated with all townships, municipalities, and counties in the United States with populations of 1,000 or more (98% coverage).

Each survey includes a random sample of officials from this list. The data used in this report is from a survey of 1,199 responses collected in July 2020.

Local government officials from ten different positions were invited to answer the survey (See Table A.1). Respondents from the first two positions (top appointed officials and heads of IT) answered a version of the survey about how software is used across various department in their local government. In contrast, respondents from the remaining eight positions answered version of the survey about how software is used in the respondent’s specific department only.

Table A.1: Survey Respondents by Position.

Top Appointed Official130
Head of IT86
Head of Building Permitting and Compliance132
Head of Communications138
Head of Finance123
Head of Fire Protection123
Head of Human Resources165
Head of Law Enforcement133
Head of Public Works83
Head of Purchasing and Procurement86

Table A.2: Survey Respondents by Government Type.

 Govt TypeRespondents

The geographic distribution of the survey respondents approximates the population distribution of the United States (Figure A.1). To characterize the representativeness of the survey sample, respondents were matched to the U.S. Census using the FIPS system.