2. Background

In the NFA interview component, the field personnel document what goods and services are derived from the sampled site; what the relative importance of each of those are for different local people; who has the right to harvest what products, when and how they harvest; what their end use and purposes are; and whether the users perceive the demand for and supply of these products to be stable, increasing or decreasing.

To capture this information, field personnel conduct interviews with local forest users who either extract resources from the site measured, or who have information about the products extracted. After interviewing several selected key informants for each site, the field team interprets the information obtained and enters the information onto a form. As we shall see later in this chapter, there are several methodological challenges in ensuring that these interview variables are measured in a consistent and accurate manner across the entire country. These methodological issues will be discussed in some depth.

The purpose of this chapter is to help the NFA to account for how the NFA methods contribute to valid and reliable data gathered through interviews. The chapter is organized around four central questions. The way in which the NFA teams addresses these questions will ultimately determine the quality of the data gathered through interviews. These four questions are:

(1) What does NFA ask?
(2) Who does NFA ask?
(3) How does NFA ask?
(4) How does NFA verify data accuracy?