Designing and Conducting Health Systems Research Projects: Sampling

Taken from Volume 1 of a course book by the International Development Research Center (IDRC). Module 11 outlines the process involved in applying different sampling techniques in research.

The Module starts with a flow chart that shows where sampling fits into a research proposal as well as the cyclical nature of the research process.


"At the end of the session you should be able to:

  • Identify and define the population(s) to be studied.
  • Identify and describe common options of sampling.
  • Discuss problems of bias that should be avoided when selecting a sample.
  • List the issues to consider when deciding on sample size.
  • Decide on the sampling option(s) and sample size(s) most appropriate for the research design you are developing." (IDRC 2003)


  • Introduction
  • Sampling procedures
  • Sampling options for qualitative data
  • Sampling options for quantitative data
  • Bias in sampling
  • Ethical considerations
  • Sample Size



Varkevisser, C. M., Pathmanathan, I., & Brownlee, A. (2003). Module 11: Sampling (IDRC). In DESIGNING AND CONDUCTING HEALTH SYSTEMS RESEARCH PROJECTS: VOLUME 1 Proposal Development and Fieldwork. Canada: International Development Research Center. Retrieved from


Via International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada

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Research Assistant, RMIT University.


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