Below we list limitations to the findings from the interviews.
- Length of involvement in an initiative. While many participants worked at their agencies for an extended period, some participants were not employed at the agency at the initiatives inception and may not have known all the partners involved and all the challenges faced in implementing the initiative. In some cases, participants provided information after the fact through e-mail, and in others we sought to supplement information by conducting some, although limited, additional Internet research.
- Inconsistent availability of document research. In some instances, participants provided us with program materials such as evaluations or research, but in other cases, program materials were not available. It is possible that there were key resources that we did not receive.
- Level of involvement in activities. Although the program officers and managers we talked to were knowledgeable about their programs, many used third parties, such as contractors, to provide information and technical assistance to grantees and to compile best practices and lessons learned. Thus, it is likely that there is more information on details of initiatives that was not available to us.
- Subjective and anecdotal nature of findings. The interview protocol was designed to capture participants subjective accounts of their experiences working with an initiative, rather than a comprehensive understanding of each initiative. Participants often provided anecdotal details to explain an initiatives history, describe barriers, facilitators and lessons learned, or illustrate successes. Participants sometimes offered supplementary information such as program evaluations. Since few initiatives underwent a true evaluation, much of the findings relied on anecdotal evidence. In some instances, participants directed us to an initiatives web-site for additional information. Data presented in the findings reflects the subjective nature of the interview data.
- Participant response rate. Most participants readily agreed to participate. A few potential participants did not respond or were not available for interview, and we did not collect information on those initiatives.