How we do it

Our Field Guide

Our Experiences / Basic Procedures for:

Focus Group
Discussions (FGDs)

Interviews (SSIs)

Interviews (SIs)

Beneficiary | Household

In order to be clear on the objectives of our assignment, and for our respondents to know what we are doing for our partners prior to the discussion of substantive issues, we

  1. Introduce ourselves /the team

  2. Explain the purpose of the research and for whom the research is done (if required)

  3. Explain how the discussion / interview will be structured.

  4. Explain arrangements for feedback and how the information provided will be used

  5. Solicit the consent of our respondents and assure anonymity

  6. Inform our respondents that they are free to stop the discussion at any time

  7. Get permission for taking notes, and if necessary and acceptable, record and take pictures

  8. Allow division of labor; one staff asks question; another takes notes and if necessary asks follow-up questions while another staff takes photos.

  9. Entertain questions prior to and after the interview

  10. Finally, we seek permission to tour the community / inspect the project

Structure of Questions

The objectives of the research as clearly spelt out in our partner’s Terms of Reference (TOR) will dictate the draft questionnaires, be it Household, Semi-Structured, Key Informant and/or Focus Group Discussion Questionnaires. The Questionnaires are submitted to our partner for review and editing. Finally, the questionnaires are finalized and re-submitted for approval. Rest assured that the objectives of the project will be captured in any one of our several models.

Reporting Structure

Prior to the commencement of desk review or during our negotiation process on roles, responsibilities and cost, we often request for the reporting format from our partners. In cases where a reporting format is not available, we recommend ours for review and approval. Over the years, we have benefited immensely from our partners in improving our reporting format. Prior to the submission of our final report, a draft report is submitted for review and input from our partners.

Lessons Learnt and Best Practices

Whenever we come across any lesson or best practice during our assignment – be it baseline survey, mid-term review, monitoring and evaluation exercises, we immediately document it.


Based upon the terms and conditions of the ToR and contract, we are prepared to organize feedback to our clients and local actors. The aim is to validate our findings and discuss our recommendations. Most often, we use a PowerPoint presentation to present our findings.