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Conducting Group Interviews in Developing Countries (AID Program Design and Evaluation Methodology Report No. 8)


About this resource

Resource type:Research, reports and studies
Keywords:Accountability and Participation, Networks, NGOs, Organisational , Research methodology
Agency:USAID - United States Agency for International Development
Author(s):Kumar, K.
Date published:1987

The Group interview is one of the rapid, cost-effective
data collection methods. It involves the use of direct probing
techniques to gather information from several individuals in a
group situation. Although superficially the difference between
the individual and group interviews is the number of
participants, this difference contributes to major variations
between the two with regard to planning, nature of interview
guides, probing techniques, and analysis of information.
Group interviews can serve a wide range of information
collection purposes. They can provide background information and
help to generate ideas and hypothesis for project and program
design, provide feedback from beneficiaries, and help in
assessing responses to recommended innovations. They are also
useful for obtaining data for monitoring and evaluation purposes
and for interpreting available quantitative data.
There are two main types of group interviews -- focus group
interviews and community interviews -- that have wide potential in
developing countries. Both types should be carefully planned.
The investigator should conduct a systematic review of the
relevant documents, records, or studies and consult with a few
key informants before venturing into the field. The main
concepts should be clearly defined in order to avoid possible
misunderstanding between the respondents and the interviewers.

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