This guide, written by Bronwen McDonald and Patricia Rogers for UNICEF, looks at interviews, with a particular focus on their use in impact evaluation. The paper focuses on how to conduct an interview and provides detailed guidance on on approaches to different kinds of interviews. It also provides an overview of ethical issues that may be faced when conducting interviews and provides examples of good practices and challenges in this area.
"In the context of UNICEF impact evaluations, interviewees may be children, primary caregivers, advocates for children or other key informants. Interviewees can be chosen randomly or purposefully (or using a combination of the two), and they can be interviewed individually or in groups, face to face or ‘virtually’ (i.e., via an online medium). Interviews can be conducted in a structured, semi-structured or unstructured way. Responses can be recorded as audio, video, notes or codes, or using a computer. The range of analysis options includes: developing detailed descriptions of processes or life impacts; generating themes to summarize the data; or not undertaking significant analysis but instead using interview quotes to illustrate quantitative data.
This brief outlines key issues to consider in planning interviews for impact evaluation, taking into account the purpose of the evaluation, how interview data aim to complement other data for assessing impact, and the availability of resources. The brief provides specific advice on successfully conducting interviews with children, including how to address the particular ethical issues involved. The efforts required to plan interviews properly and conduct them well should not be underestimated.
- Interviews: a brief description
- When is it appropriate to use this method?
- How to conduct interviews
- Ethical issues and practical limitations
- Which other methods work well with this one?
- Presentation of results and analysis
- Example of good practices
- Examples of challenges
See more in the Impact Evaluation Series here.