Hierarchical card sorting: A tool for qualitative research

This paper by Rick Davies from the Centre for Development Studies describes the use of hierarchical card sorting as a way to elicit the views of development sector staff to gain an understanding of their perceptions of the world around them.

"It was developed in the course of research into the ways in which the staff of non-government organisations (NGOs) see the world around them, including their intended beneficiaries and other NGOs. It has been used with NGO staff in Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and the United Kingdom." (Davies, 1996)


  • The Method
  • The Examples
  • Commentary on the Examples
  • Problems
  • Potential
  • Comparisons with Other Options


Davies, R., (1996). Hierarchical Card Sorting: A Tool for Qualitative Research, Centre for Development Studies, Swansea UK. Swansea University. Retrieved from http://www.mande.co.uk/docs/hierarch.htm

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