Using Direct Observation Techniques

Direct observation techniques allow for a more systematic, structured process, using well-designed observation record forms. The main advantage of direct observation is that an event, institution, facility, or process can be studied in its natural setting, thereby providing a richer understanding of the subject. (USAID 1996)

On the negative side, direct observation is susceptible to observer bias. The very act
of observation also can affect the behavior being studied.

Contents

  • What is direct observation
  • Advantages and limitations
  • When is direct observation useful?
  • Steps in using direct observation
    • Step 1: Determine the focus
    • Step 2: Develop direct observation forms
    • Step 3: Select the sites
    • Step 4: Decide on the best timing
    • Step 5: Conduct the field observation
    • Step 6: Complete forms
    • Step 7: Analyze the data
    • Step 8: Check for reliability and validity

 

Source

USAID Center for Development Information and Evaluation (1996) Performance Monitoring & Evaluation TIPS Using Direct Observation Techniques. USAID Center for Development Information and Evaluation retrived from https://web.archive.org/web/20130302141450/http://transition.usaid.gov/policy/evalweb/documents/TIPS-UsingDirectObservationTechniques.pdf (archived link)

via USAID

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Author
Research Fellow, RMIT University.
Melbourne.

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