1. The activities involved in compiling the questionnaire, analysing and processing the data collected in 65 duly completed questionnaires proved more problematic than expected. The lead organisation had constructed a very detailed 40-page questionnaire requiring very specific and comprehensive answers from a large number of NGOs operating at international level. This draft questionnaire was submitted to the partner organisations at the first international working meeting held on 23 February 2001 in Brussels. Most of the partner organisations wanted a slimmed-down questionnaire with fewer open-ended questions, and comprising not more than 20 pages. The leading organisation (Child Focus) took the partners’ remarks into account and reworked the questionnaire layout and structure. This added an extra month to the original estimated timetable for compiling, drafting and sending out the questionnaire. However, it was clear that the Directory would not be useful, and the pilot processes not sufficiently tested, if a simpler questionnaire had been developed. One lesson from this is that developing a fully usable questionnaire is often more time-consuming than anticipated; this should be considered when a questionnaire-based project is being planned. Another lesson that has come out of Daphne projects that use questionnaires is that sometimes it is useful to do a two-stage questionnaire, where the first questionnaire is very brief and includes just enough questions to help the lead organisation decide whether to send a more detailed questionnaire to the organisation concerned. Although this would not have been relevant in this project, since detailed replies were needed from every respondent in order for the Directory to be compiled, it might be useful in other projects where the questionnaire is not so specific but designed more to gain general informant or opinions.
2. Child Focus was also faced with translation problems, since many organisations either filled in the questionnaire or attached extra explanatory documents (e.g., mission statements) in their own language. These particular translation issues had not been envisaged when the project was submitted to the Commission, so the estimated budget was well short of what was needed to cover all the translation costs involved. Many organisations had also filled in the questionnaire by hand, which left Child Focus having to try and make out handwriting which was not always easy to read and unable to put them directly on computer without retyping. These problems with language, reading and retyping the replies to the questionnaire involved a significant added workload for Child Focus, and considerably more collaboration from the partner organisations than initially planned for. However, thanks to a high level of cooperation throughout the project between Child Focus and the partner organisations, the expected results were achieved and contacts were strengthened. Organisations planning this kind of project, though, might want to allow more time and resources for processing questionnaire replies.
3. The findings and conclusions drawn from the work on compiling this Directory as regards the situation in each country prompted both the beneficiary groups and a wider audience to call the attention of national governments and the European authorities to the need to bring more national and European resources to bear on tackling these issues.
4. Child Focus’ final report also noted the following important lessons: