Introduction to Conducting Focus Groups

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Focus groups are useful tools that require only a small number of participants when compared to many other social science methods. The typical objective of a focus group is not consensus or debate, but rather to generate ideas and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to express feelings about a particular topic.

This document is an introduction to key elements and practices that can increase the success of a focus group effort. Topics include

  • Determining if a focus group is the right tool for a project
  • Developing effective focus group questions
  • Planning for a productive focus group
  • Analyzing the data