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research:rural_areas:common_limitations

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Limitations

To be able to judge about the evidence delivered by the conducted research it is important to out-line the limits of interpretation of the stated findings (results) As mentioned before the Rural Area Brandenburg Subgroup conducted research within two sepa-rate geographical areas within Brandenburg, one is the region of Havelland-Flämming and the other is the municipality Uebigau-Wahrenbrück.

For both region a similar random sampling method based on resident databases was used. As both regions used a random sampling method both estimated samples can’t guarantee to illustrate an representative picture of the population in regards to their proportion of age and gender. To get an more representative sample other sampling methods could have been used e.g. stratified sample. However, as the surveys should be comparable to an 10 year old survey, which as well was based on an random sampling method. This decision to choose a random sample method can be seen as reasonable and even more if taking into consideration, that the most data needed for an stratified sampling is not easily available for member of the public. (Even though the sample could not be adjusted after the sampling method it can be said that the proportion of the sample reflected the gender and age proportion of the population)

Another limitation which goes Hand in hand with the survey derives from its “collection” methodol-ogy. Both surveys distributed written questionnaires to the selected households and collected them after a short time period. As the survey therefore can be seen as an post survey, both sur-veys faces similar problems. Post questionnaires are less likely to be answered by people with an neutral opinion and are mostly answered by people with an ”strong” or “decided view” on an spe-cific issue. This usually leads to an overrepresentation of people with an strong opinions to the re-searched issue.

Nevertheless, it can be mentioned that the collection approaches in the two regions where differ-ent. In Havelland-Flämming the questionnaire were delivered and after 2-3 weeks picked up by students at the homes of the residents. In the case of Uebigau-Wahrenbrück the questionnaires were also delivered to the households. However, the return was planned by post. So the inter-viewed had to send back their questionnaire by post. Even though aside the questionnaire the people received an envelope, with which they could sent the questionnaire back for free, the re-turns turned out to be very poor ( 21 from a random sample of *218 ). This poor return in question-naire in the case of Uebigau_Wahrenbrück, makes it nearly impossible to draw any conclusion from the sample size to the overall population.

As mentioned in the overall limits, the survey just conducted the opinion of the population within a short time frame of 2-3 weeks. Therefore the survey can’t assess long time trends and further risks to be more easily affected by special events. In case of Uebigau-Wahrenbrück the survey was car-ried out between the 10.06.2016 and the 18.06.2016 and in case of Havelland-Flämming the survey was carried out between the 1.6.2016 and 17.06.2016.

During this time period several events in the region and topics in local as well national media could have influenced the opinion on the local population towards wind energy. On the federal level a referendum against wind energy took place.

Further some local events in Uebigau Wahrenbrück could have played a role like the seventh local energy conference, which took place on the third of July 2016. And further there was an participa-tion phase regarding a new spatial plan from the 21.04.2016 to the 26.5.2016, in which the locals could among several topics also express their concerns towards the planning of new wind energy development areas. A similar process was also taking place in Havelland-Flämming.

As stated in the general limitations. This questionnaire was mostly based on closed question. Therefore, it can be argued that the opinion of the interviewed is not in all detail reflected in the questionnaires, but a simplistic reduction of their opinion. Another constrain, which could deforms the assessed opinion of the interviewed, are the questions in itself. So the questions and the fac-tors which were asked within the questionnaires were selected by the researchers and therefore reflect their opinion on which aspect should be included and moreover which aspect place a role within the social acceptance of wind energy. As both survey which took place in 2016 were de-signed similar to the old survey of 2005, they focused on the same aspects. A factor which for ex-ample just played a minor role were procedural fairness or participation. Even though this aspect was covered within the survey of Uebigau-Wahrenbrück, throughout the poor responds, it can be stated that this aspect won’t play a role within the major findings. Also some questions failed to assess the subjects. For example open questions often (mostly) re-mained unanswered.

The comparison of the final findings are also limited. In case of the comparison of the findings of the survey of 2016 with the survey of 2005 it has to be mentioned, that it is very probable that not the same person were asked. Therefore if a change of acceptance are assessed it could be that it is just because other people were asked. However, as a random sample should be more or less rep-resentative for the overall population, assessed changes could still be an indicator for changes which took place within the region.

research/rural_areas/common_limitations.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/01 16:29 by marike.hebrank