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EAF Steps

  • Activity 1.1 - Initial process planning and determining stakeholder support
  • Activity 1.2 - Defining the fishery, societal values and high level objectives
  • Activity 2.1 - Asset and Issue identification

Purpose

Provide a structured basis for gathering information on a wide range of issues including from a potentially large or dispersed group of stakeholders.

Overview

General Description

Well structured questionnaires can provide useful information on a variety of issues. They have advantages over some other types of surveys in that they can be relatively cheap, because they do not require as much effort from the questioner as is needed for a verbal or telephone survey, and usually have standardized answers for questions that make it simpler to compile data.

However, standardized answers may frustrate users and questionnaires are also sharply limited by the fact that respondents must be able to read the questions and respond to them. Thus, for some stakeholder groups conducting a survey by using a questionnaire may not be practical or appropriate.

Usually, a questionnaire consists of a number of questions that the respondent has to answer in a set format with a distinction made between open-ended and closed-ended questions. An open-ended question asks the respondent to formulate his own answer, whereas a closed-ended question has the respondent pick an answer from a given number of options. The response options for a closed-ended question should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive. A respondent's answer to an open-ended question is usually coded into a response scale or into a category afterwards.

The questionnaire can be filled out in a face-to-face meeting where an interviewer presents the items orally; the questionnaire is filled in directly by the person being interviewed either on paper, or increasingly now, on line where the items are presented on the computer screen, often via the web.

Specific Questionnaire for Fisheries Management and the Code of Conduct

The FAO has developed a specific questionnaire for management agencies to use to determine how well their management systems are compliant with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 2007). This could be a valuable exercise for an agency to undertake prior to beginning to go though the EAF planning process because it is likely that this will identify where there are deficiencies or problems. This analysis can be the basis of developing the issue identification for the governance components of EAF in Step 2.

EAF Tool Tips

Use statements which are interpreted in the same way by members of different subpopulations of the population of interest.

  • Use statements where persons that have different opinions or traits will give different answers.
  • Think of having an "open" answer category after a list of possible answers.
  • Use only one aspect of the construct you are interested in per item.
  • Use positive statements and avoid negatives or double negatives.
  • Do not make assumptions about the respondent.
  • Use clear and comprehensible wording, easily understandable for all educational levels
  • Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Avoid items that contain more than one question per item (e.g. Do you like strawberries and potatoes?).

EAF Tool Pedigree

Surveys and questionnaires are a common method for gaining opinions and information from a large group of stakeholders in an orderly and consistent manner.

EAF Tool Usage

Fairly hard

Cost

Low, High

Running questionnaire will in general require a fair amount of resources and a dedicated team of people to plan complete and analyse the information that is gathered.

The costs can be large if the questionnaire is to be physically sent to a large group of people. If web based methods are used this will reduce the costs.

EAF Tool Capacity

Moderate – High

It requires a project leader who has good sampling theory and project management skills to complete a useful survey

Background Requirements

Low

A large amount of information is not required to undertake a survey – this is often the purpose of the survey is to gather information.

Participation

Moderate - High

This method is designed to contact and get participation from a relatively large group of stakeholders.

Time Range

Moderate – High

Most questionnaire surveys will take a number of months at least to complete.

Source of Information

Definition and description:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questionnaire

Tips on Design:

http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Hints_for_designing_effective_questionnaires

http://www.statpac.com/surveys/

Specific Questionnaires for EAF:

Using questionnaires based on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as diagnostic tools in support of fisheries management. FAO/FishCode Review 21 Internet resource

Other Relevant References

Foddy, W. H. 1994 Constructing questions for interviews and questionnaires: Theory and practice in social research (New ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 
Gillham, B. 2008 Developing a questionnaire (2nd ed.). London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. 
 
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