Frequently asked questions

MPPS reports MPPS in the news

The Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), a program of ongoing statewide surveys of Michigan's local government leaders, has built up an extensive data library on a wide range of local government issues since the surveys began in 2009. The surveys investigate local officials' opinions and perspectives on a variety of important public policy issues and gather factual information about their localities relevant to policymaking.

  • The MPPS includes a core annual spring survey, and often includes an additional fall survey. Spring surveys contain several batteries of "core" fiscal, budgetary, and operational policy questions that get asked each year, thereby building up a time-series of data on fundamental issues and allowing tracking of change and continuity over time. Spring surveys also include batteries of questions on additional topics that change over time. Fall surveys also focus on specific unique topics that change each year, including issues such as workforce development, intergovernmental collaboration, performance measurement and management, civic engagement, etc.

    The first two waves (and the overall startup) of the MPPS were funded by internal CLOSUP funds and a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since then, MPPS activities have been funded solely by internal funds at CLOSUP. In the future, CLOSUP may seek additional external support from foundations or other interested organizations.

    The MPPS is conducted in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Townships Association. The associations provide CLOSUP with contact information for the survey's respondents, and consult on survey topics. CLOSUP makes all final decisions on survey design, data analysis, and reporting, and receives no funding support from the associations.

    The MPPS serves a wide-range of stakeholders in Michigan and elsewhere, including local and state policymakers and practitioners, nonprofit organizations, foundations, citizen groups, the media and the academic research and teaching community.

    The MPPS also served as a model for the creation of the Canadian Municipal Barometer, an ongoing survey of cities across Canada, and looks to collaborate with other local government surveys and researchers. 

    CLOSUP deposits MPPS datasets at ICPSR for other researchers to use. See more info.

    The surveys:

    • provide local public officials with a better understanding of the decision-making environment in which they operate, including the views, values, priorities and experiences of their peers across the state;
    • enhance opportunities for regional cooperation and coordination with resulting cost savings and/or public service improvements;
    • give state-level policymakers a better understanding of the policy priorities in different kinds of communities as well as the likely resistance or support they will find for various state policy options;
    • increase government transparency and accountability and therefore result in better opportunities for high quality civic engagement by community activists, nonprofits, foundations and the public;
    • provide unique and powerful data for academic researchers and students to better understand local government operations.

    We are eager to hear your ideas about the surveys: the key issues or questions that should be included, the general topics that should be covered, the types of analysis and reports that would be most useful. If you would like to share your input, please contact Tom Ivacko at 734-647-4091 or by email to [email protected].