Organise a focus group

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Objectives

Focus groups are a technique used to find out what issues are of most concern for a community or group when little or no information is available.

Method

  • Randomly select 6-10 people affected by or interested in the community issue to make up the focus group.
  • Book venue and arrange catering if meeting goes across a meal time.
  • Hire a facilitator.
  • Prepare preliminary questions.
  • Send reminders to participant with time, date, venue and questions.
  • Brief participants and the facilitator on the aims and objectives of the session.
  • Establish ground rules: keep focused, maintain momentum, get closure on questions.
  • Encourage shy participants if they feel anxious about revealing their opinions/feelings.
  • Engage a co-facilitator to record issues raised by individuals (may use audio, a/visual, and/or written notes).
  • De-brief the participants and the facilitator.
  • Compile a report of proceedings for the organisers, and offer a copy to the participants.

Example

Focus groups experience in Estonia, The Netherlands and Sweden.

Source

  1. http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/effective-engagement/toolkit/tool-focus-groups
The author of this article is UNIVE team
The article has been reviewed by Plan Bleu and PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.