chargeable devices and ask for the number used in the home. This approach could become increasingly inadequate as the number of rechargeable devices increases, making it more difficult for respondents to perform a quick but comprehensive mental calculation. An alternative question format, such as a list of devices that prompts respondents to answer yes or no to each item and then provide the number applicable to that category, may have to be considered (along with an “other, specify” answer category).
The panel cannot recommend specific wording changes without further testing. The examples above are instead intended to illustrate the types of issues that should be considered. The panel also acknowledges that the continuity of the time series is an important consideration, but it believes that questions should still be evaluated with an eye on the future and considering which content is expected to be most relevant going forward.
As discussed, one important aspect of the questionnaire review process is identifying items that have become outdated or are no longer useful enough to warrant inclusion in the RECS. Removing some questions is imperative if new questions are to be added.
Recommendation RECS-16: EIA should invest in periodic reviews of the RECS questionnaire content and wording. This should be understood as a routine updating of the instruments, separate from the concept of a major redesign of the survey.
Greater EIA Involvement in the Data Collection Process
The panel recommends greater EIA involvement in the tasks that are performed by data collection contractors. As long as these highly technical data continue to be collected by interviewers, interviewer training deserves particular attention. EIA should also work with the data collection contractor to schedule periodic interviewer debriefings in order to obtain feedback about the fieldwork.
Recommendation RECS-17: Interviewer debriefings should become an integral part of the RECS data collection process in order to identify problems with the questionnaires and procedures and to serve as a source of ideas for increased procedures and to serve as a source of ideas efficiencies.