3. What does the NFA ask?
3.1 Data content and format issuesThe eventual usefulness of the NFA interview will depend on how the end users perceive its overall quality. Researchers often determine the quality of data with regards to how the data is gathered, processed and analyzed, but we will start our examination of NFA data quality at a more fundamental level: the selection of variables of interest.
How does the choice of questions influence the quality of the answers? To produce reliable and valid results, it is important to select variables that are measurable through interviews. For example, it would be very nice to know the per capita average of forest-derived calorie intake, but this is a variable that would be very difficult to estimate accurately through interviews.
According to the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment Advisory Committee, there are about twenty different variables that member countries will be asked to report on in the next global FRA in 2005. The NFA includes all of these variables as core measurements in each country. The interview component of the NFA will be able to provide national level measures on several of these parameters. Table 1 lists the core variables that the NFA teams should gather through interviews.
Annex 1 presents a plausible format for the systematic collection of this core NFA data through personal interviews with forest users. Each NFA country team would need to decide on what additional information might be desirable to include apart from the common, core NFA variables. After agreeing on an appropriate format, each team should carry out extensive pretests of the agreed upon interview protocol (see section on Quality Control for suggested pre-tests).
Table 1: Links Between NFA Outputs and Interview Variables
|Outputs||Relevant Interview Variables|
|Biodiversity: Human impacts on biodiversity|| ||Non wood forest products: Food, medicine, crafts, construction|| |
|Wood products: Annual supply of timber and other woody forest products (such as fuel wood)|| |
|Services: Social and poverty alleviation, economic, environmental|| |
|Accessibility: to trees, forest, and markets (distance to forest, hospital, school, roads)|| |
|Tenure: User rights to tree and forest products|| |