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  1. Snowball Sampling

    Evaluation Option
    Large Snowball, London N14 photo by Christine Matthews

    'Snowball or Chain Sampling is an option for locating information rich key informants and critical cases. The process begins by asking well situated people “Who knows a lot about ___?Whom should I talk to?” By asking a number of people who else to talk with, the snowball gets bigger and bigger as you accumulate new information-rich cases. 

  2. Theory-based Sampling

    Evaluation Option
    Untitled by Pieterjan Grobler

    Theory-based sampling involves selecting cases according to the extent to which they represent a particular theoretical construct. Purposive sampling is used as the population of the particular theoretical construct is difficult to determine.




  3. Confirming and Disconfirming Sampling

    Evaluation Option
    Yes Or No Be Decisive photo by Michael Trolove

    Confirming and disconfirming cases assist the evaluator in the confirmatory fieldwork stage of an evaluation. After gathering initial data, exploring the data and identifying patterns, the evaluator will start to develop findings. Confirming and disconfirming cases allow the evaluator to further refine and test initial findings. Both types of cases are important, confirming cases to provide deeper insights to preliminary findings and disconfirming cases to test and highlight the boundaries of the findings.

  4. Convenience Sampling

    Evaluation Option
    Roadtrip 5 by Searunner. sv -

    Convenience sampling selection is based on the ease or "convenience" of gaining access to a sample. Rather than using a random or purposeful approach to sampling, the evaluator simply gathers data from people who are readily available. This form of data collection works for some areas of study, but using these options may result in low credible cases that produce inaccurate data and questionable results.

  5. Volunteer Sampling

    Evaluation Option
    Volunteer Week 2007 photo by Letcombe

    In many research contexts, sampling simply involves asking for volunteers. Although this can be a convenient, quick and inexpensive way of sampling, the problem with basing a study on a group of volunteers is that there is no evidence that this sample is representative of the wider population that the researcher would like to make generalizations about.


  6. Projective Techniques

    Evaluation Option
    Ink stain Texture- 19 photo by designshard

    Projective techniques, originally developed for use in psychology, can be used in an evaluation to provide a prompt for interviews.  Photolanguage is a particular type of projective technique where participants select one or two pictures from a set and use them to illustrate their comments about something.  For example, participants in a workshop might be asked to select two pictures - one that represents you at the beginning of this course and one at the end - and then to discuss the pictures and their hopes and fears about the course and its impacts.

  7. Convergent Interviewing

    Evaluation Option
    TV crew to interview the workers in the field by Sarvis John

    A convergent Interview is type of interview intended to explore issues widely through a combination of unstructured interviews and a maximum diversity sample.  

  8. Sketch Mapping

    Evaluation Option
    Sketch map of Runcorn, Cheshire, showing railways by Expresso Addict

    This option is useful for creating a visual representation ('map') of a geographically based or defined issue drawn from the interpretation of a group or different groups of stakeholders. 

  9. World Cafe

    Evaluation Option

    The World Café is a methodology for hosting group dialogue which emphasizes the power of simple conversation in considering relevant questions and themes. The metaphor of a real-life café is used: in a World Café session, participants – of any number - are encouraged to take part in a collaborative conversation within an environment typically modeled after such a café (i.e. a room furnished with small tables, tablecloth, light music, flowers, refreshments, etc).

  10. Transect

    Evaluation Option
    field work drill debriefing by Swanson Scott

    Transect walks are an option for gathering spatial data on an area by observing people, surroundings and resources while walking around an area or community. Through the observation of specific indicators and the participation of a variety of stakeholders significants amounts of  both qualitative and quantitative data can be collected on transect walks.