New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Page 156 6— Design and Administration of Surveys In this chapter we discuss the conduct of surveys. Specifically, we examine the definition of the relevant population, the selection of the sample, development and testing of the survey instrument or questionnaire, other survey procedures and response rates. Prior to that, however, we discuss briefly whether a survey is necessary. Is a Survey Necessary? The quick answer to this question is another question or rather a set of questions. What are you trying to measure? For what purpose? What degree of accuracy do you require? How much time do you have? How much funding is available? A survey may not be necessary or it may be vital. Let's think of a case where is survey may not be necessary. Suppose you were trying to measure cheaply and quickly as baseline data the use by family groups of a certain site for which permits to enter were issued. The permits listed name, address, vehicle type and registration number, use of tent or van, number of adults and number of children, date of entry and expected date of departure. A practical way to generate the baseline data would be to analyze the permit records, and select the groups with 1–4 adults and 1–4 children. The number of children and adults used in the formula would probably vary according to the area and culture of the people. Experienced staff know if the site attracted extended family groups with grandparents or family groups with...
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