Partnership with an established network enabled the survey to attain a very high response rate and to identify small-scale projects that would not otherwise have been accessible. Since much of the public education work currently undertaken consists of such projects, this proved to be an effective approach. However, even with an active collaborative network it was not possible to obtain a full response rate. Some quite major campaigns for which materials already exist in DAP, could not be included in the survey data because despite all efforts, the questionnaire was not returned. This particularly applied to some very large projects. Other groups, known to be active in this field, were not willing to participate in the study, despite encouragement by network coordinators. Reasons included political sensitivity of project work, lack of time (and possibly interest), and lack of identification with the study aims.
The type of questionnaire developed, and the means of recruiting respondents revealed some shortcomings in the methodology. First, there was a wide variation in the quality of information provided by respondents. Second, many questionnaires had to be returned to the respondents because sections had been overlooked or for further information that the coordinators knew to be available but which had not been included; this delayed the turn-around time for responses. Third, it proved difficult to elicit information from respondents on more than one activity even when coordinators knew that multiple projects existed. Fourth, as a consequence of the slow turnaround, the cutoff point for accepting returned questionnaires was extended several times. And lastly, the large number of responses (exceeding expectations by 100%) meant that more time than anticipated was spent on data collection, screening and analysis and less on quality control.