Conducting Key Informant Interviews

This USAID Tips document advises how to conduct and apply the Rapid Appraisal Technique (i.e. getting information quickly and at low cost) known as Key Informant Interviews.

"This option is useful in all phases of development activities— identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. For example, it can provide information on the setting for a planned activity that might influence project design. Or, it could reveal why intended beneficiaries aren’t using services offered by a project." (USAID 1996)


  • What are key informant interviews?
  • When are key informant interviews appropriate?
  • Advantages and limitations
  • Steps in conducting the interviews
    • Step 1. Formulate study questions
    • Step 2. Prepare a short interview guide
    • Step 3. Select key informants
    • Step 4. Conduct interviews
    • Step 5. Take adequate notes
    • Step 6. Analyze interview data
    • Step 7. Check for reliability and validity


USAID Center for Development Information and Evaluation (1996) Conducting Key Informant Interviews  Performance Monitoring & Evaluation TIPS. Washington DC, USAID. Retrieved from



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A special thanks to this page's contributors
Research Fellow, RMIT University.


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