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How to do great semi-structured interviews

Semi-structured interviews are a staple of international development programs. Unfortunately they are often done in a rush without proper planning and analysis. The result can be a pile of interview notes that don’t contain the information you need, or simply repeat the same points over and over without adding anything ... Read More »

How to design a new program

Designing a new program can be both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because it’s difficult to know if you’ve designed it the right way. Rewarding if your program ends up working (or discouraging if it ends up not working!). There are plenty of manuals on how to design programs, like these ... Read More »

How to assess drinking water quality

Clean water is generally defined as water that is free from microbial, chemical and physical contamination. This includes contaminants that present a health risk (e.g. disease-causing bacteria, toxic metals) and those that have no health risk but can make the water unpleasant to drink (e.g. poor taste resulting from high ... Read More »

How to pretest and pilot a survey questionnaire

It’s important to test your survey questionnaire before using it to collect data. Pretesting and piloting can help you identify questions that don’t make sense to participants, or problems with the questionnaire that might lead to biased answers. This guide explains how to conduct basic pretesting and piloting for a ... Read More »

How to write awesome survey questions – Part 2

Once you’ve written some good survey questions following the tips in Part 1, the next step is to write good answers for people to choose from.  This guide provides tips on how to create the three most common types of  survey answers – numerical, multiple choice and scales – in ... Read More »

How to write awesome survey questions – Part 1

Most international development programs involve one or more surveys – whether it’s baseline surveys, endline surveys, needs assessment surveys, or feedback forms from participants. This guide explains how to write clear, concise survey questions that will collect accurate data.  The inspiration for many of these tips comes from The Survey Research Handbook by Pamela Alreck and Robert Settle. ... Read More »

How to design survey forms for quick data entry

Surveys are a common activity in international development. Although mobile phones and tablet computers are becoming more common, these days most surveys are still done on paper. This means that someone in the organization will need to enter all the completed surveys into the computer for data analysis. This guide ... Read More »

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