The KAP Survey Model (Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices)

Date of Design: 
Médicins du Monde
Pathway Component: 
Caring Capacity & Practices, Health Care


Brief Description: A Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) survey is a quantitative method (predefined questions formatted in standardized questionnaires) that provides access to quantitative and qualitative information. KAP surveys reveal misconceptions or misunderstandings that may represent obstacles to the activities that we would like to implement and potential barriers to behavior change. Note that a KAP survey essentially records an “opinion” and is based on the “declarative” (i.e., statements). In other words, the KAP survey reveals what was said, but there may be considerable gaps between what is said and what is done. 

Uses: A KAP survey can:

  • Measure the extent of a known situation; confirm or disprove a hypothesis; provide new tangents of a situation’s reality.
  • Enhance the knowledge, attitude, and practices of specific themes; identify what is known and done about various health-related subjects.
  • Establish the baseline (reference value) for use in future assessments and help measure the effectiveness of health education activities ability to change health-related behaviors.
  • Suggest an intervention strategy that reflects specific local circumstances and the cultural factors that influence them; plan activities that are suited to the respective population involved. 

Tool Components:

  1. Constructing the survey protocol
  2. Preparing the survey
  3. Course of the KAP survey in the field
  4. Data analysis and presentation of the survey report
  5. Conclusion, references, and abbreviations


Number of Staff Required: The team will be composed of surveyors and supervisors. The number of supervisors is directly dependent on the number of surveyors, which is determined by the size of the survey and the resources available. Each supervisor should have daily face-to-face contact with each of the surveyors that s/he supervises. For 10-15 surveyors, for example, two supervisors work quite well. 

Time: A KAP survey takes between six and twelve weeks. 

Cost of Assessment: This will vary depending on the context and the number of respondents. It is critical to not to underestimate the magnitude of resources and time necessary for the implementation of KAP surveys, which are costly and time-consuming. 

Training: Training surveyors is crucial. The training lasts two-to-four days depending on the complexity of the survey and questionnaire and the experience level of surveyors recruited. The training should allow surveyors to master the knowledge, skills, and expertise specific to the KAP survey. 

Geographic Targeting: A KAP survey is conducted on a specific target population; respondents are randomly selected from a complete sampling frame. The target group may share common characteristics, such as youth under 18 years old, artisans, or drug users (here the KAP questionnaires are aimed at individuals), or a more general population, e.g. a region or village (questionnaires aimed at households).

Type of Data Collection: A KAP survey uses household and individual surveys. 

Degree of Technical Difficulty: KAP surveys vary; the complexity will be determined by the specific questions included in a given survey. 

Complements other Resources: Open-ended interviews and focus groups can complement a KAP survey, allowing further exploration of a situation or problem, and potentially highlighting aspects that are not yet known. These methods combine observations and open interviews and help deepen topics addressed in the KAP survey.

This summary is part of a larger resource called the Context Assessment Tool Locator.