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Semi-structured interview - CIFOR - unstructured interview example



Semi-structured interviewSemi-structured interviews can be used to understand whether our work is having an influence by conducting periodic interviews with selected practitioners and policy-makers. Informants are selected based on the degree on contact with the projects. The interviews would be conducted by team members working on KNOWFOR. It is important that they directly address KNOWFOR key evaluation questions (KEQs). Interviews can be conducted in person or by telephone or Skype.What is a semi-structured interviewA semi-structured interview is an informally guided process where only some questions are pre-determined and new questions are developed from discussion. A loose interview guide is used to ensure that the same topics are covered with each respondent. The exact wording of questions is not necessarily pre-determined. These kinds of interviews are used to understand someone’s impressions or experiences.The information that semi-structured interviews could be used to collect are, broadly:Changes in the degree to which policymakers and practitioners are equipped with:strategic knowledge evidencetoolsanalysis on forests, trees and climate.Processes that lead to uptake of this knowledge, evidence, tools and analysis. Materials neededMaterials to record notes –pen / paper Digital recorder if possibleInterview questionsTime30 – 60minsTips for Conducting Interviews in a face-to- face mannerGive people time and space to take things at their own paceSome people will take longer to think about their answers – allow for silence. Asking probing questionsSemi-structured interviews should be relaxed and like a normal conversation. However, they do differ from conversation in one important way – when you ask the question, you need to wait for a response! Do not repeat it, or tell them what you think the answer is. Also it is important to try not to lead or bias the interview, but you may need to probe. Here are some possible questions to use to probe further:Tell me moreWhy do you feel that way?Why was that important to you?How did that affect you?Can you explain what you mean by that?What was your contribution?What do you think was really making it work?How has it changed you?Remember, this is an interview – not a dialogue or discussion. Let the interviewee tell his/her story, please don’t tell yours or give your opinion about their experiences.Be genuinely curious about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Try to avoid being separated from them by a large table. Make eye contact if that’s culturally appropriate. Allow your facial expression and verbal reinforcement to reflect your genuine interest. If you are curious and want some more information, by all means ask for it!Close by summarising what most inspired you Because these interviews are grounded in relationship, honour the relationship by sharing your experience. Tell people what you learned from them – how their stories have changed the way you see things. Your interviewee has trusted you with his or her stories, hopes, and opinions. Honour that trust by trusting them in return.Use the interview guide as more of a check list than a structured interview. The idea of a semi-structured interview is that you let people describe things in their own terms, and you make sure all the questions are covered. If they answer a question that is later in your list, you need not repeat it or stick to the order suggested.Ethical conductAttention must be paid to the ethics of conducting interviews from individuals. When an interview is conducted, the person collecting the information needs to explain how the interview will be used and you must check that the interviewee is happy for their ‘story’ to be used in that way. You should assure them that the information they give is confidential, that is, their ‘name’ won’t be attached to the information and made public unless they ask for this to happen. Whatever is collected in an interview process is confidential. You must not discuss what you heard to any other informants or outsiders. The only people you may discuss the findings with are the team themselves. An example interview consent form is included in the M&E Toolkit. Semi-structured interviews can be conducted as face to face interview or converted to an on-line survey. If you are doing this face-to-face, it is preferable for someone other than the main counterpart conduct the interview.2. Example semi-structured interview templatesRegardless of the reason for conducting the interview there is some standard information that is it useful to gather from all informants. About the participant:Name:Institution:Position/role: How and why was this person selected as a an informant? And for which project/ projects?Sex: M/F: __________________________Interview following up from an influence log eventIn a situation where an instance of influence was flagged for follow up in the influence log, there are two possible courses of action. A smaller instance of influence (inquiry for more information based on a knowledge product, a speaker request based on information accessed or partnership/co-research inquiry) that is of interest may be worth following up with a brief semi-structured interview. While the focus of these interviews will need to be adapted to suit each situation, a generic interview guide is included below. If a more significant instance of influence (e.g. change in policy or practice at an organisational or government level), it may be deemed worthy of more significant follow up. These instances may become the basis for an episode study or a performance report (refer to Method 2 and Method 9). Can you briefly tell me about (the piece of work under discussion) and how it came about?How have you made use of CIFOR/PROFOR/IUCN knowledge products/resources in this work? How did you become aware of the resource/toolkit/knowledge product?What was it about the product that made it useful/accessible for your purposes? In what ways could it have been more useful/accessible?What was it about the information/product/tool that you accessed that gave you confidence to draw on it in your work?Who is the potential/actual audience for the work you have done? How successful have you been to date in engaging that audience?Do you see scope for future collaboration with IUCN/CIFOR/PROFOR? If so in what way?Intermediary interviewIn order to better understand the mechanisms or process through which knowledge is being shared through intermediaries to ultimate end users, it may be useful to interview a random selection of intermediaries as part of annual monitoring and reflection cycles. It is important that interview informants are selected in line with a transparent sampling strategy. This can either be random, stratified (where possible) or purposive. Data from these interviews will need to be presented alongside the explanation of the sampling process to ensure results are interpreted correctly. A generic interview guide for this purpose is included below:Can you explain to me the type of engagement you have had with CIFOR/PROFOR/IUCN - GPFLR?What is the purpose of your engagement with the organisation (ie common goals, shared objectives, joint deliverables etc)?Has working with you connected CIFOR/PROFOR/IUCN - GPFLR to networks or individuals that are important to achieving those goals? If so please provide detailsAs a result of your collaboration with the organisation have you made use of information/models/toolkits or other knowledge products? If so, can you explain how?Did you pass on any of these or discuss them with others? If so please provide detailsWhat challenges (if any) have you experienced in trying to apply these materials/ideas and how have you tried to deal with these?What further information or products would help you in achieving your goals around forestry policy/practice change?Do you see scope for future collaboration with IUCN - GPFLR/CIFOR/PROFOR? If so in what way?Target end user interviewIn order to better understand how target end users are perceiving information/knowledge products received (either directly or through intermediaries) it may be useful to interview a random selection of targeted end users as part of annual monitoring and reflection cycles. It is important that interview informants are selected in line with a transparent sampling strategy. This can either be random, stratified (where possible) or purposive. Data from these interviews will need to be presented alongside the explanation of the sampling process to ensure results are interpreted correctly. A generic interview guide for this purpose is included below:Have you accessed/been provided with any information/tools/products have from IUCN – GPFLR/PROFOR/CIFOR? If so, how did you become aware of the resource/toolkit/knowledge product?Have you used information/models/toolkits? If so, can you explain how?What was it about the product that made it useful/accessible for your purposes? In what ways could it have been more useful/accessible?What was it about the information/product/tool that you accessed that gave you confidence to draw on it?Did you pass on any information or discuss this with others?– if so please provide detailsWhat challenges have you experienced in trying to apply these materials/ideas and how have you tried to deal with these?What further information or products would help you in achieving your goals around forestry policy/practice change?KNOWFOR programme staff interviewIn instances where it is not possible to speak directly with intermediaries or end-users, you may like to interview KNOWFOR programme managers to gain their reflections on the interactions they have had with these actors. These interviews can also provide valuable perspectives to include in case-studies or episode studies. A generic interview guide for this purpose is included below:What lessons have you learned about successfully engaging intermediaries/ end users? What approaches have worked well/not so well? What evidence exists of target audiences applying or otherwise drawing on knowledge or information provided to them or generated through your activities? How well judged was the dissemination mode and information formats used for the intended partners and target audiences? (please provide examples where appropriate) What feedback did you receive from target audiences regarding quality, relevance, utility and accessibility of activity outputs?Have your activities made a difference to the capacity of key actors to make evidence based decisions or influenced the systems that enable them to do so? Using interview dataSemi-structured interviews, or some form of qualitative data collection, are an important complement to traditional monitoring systems that often focuses on the collection and management of quantifiable tracking information. By collecting qualitative data in an on-going manner, programme staff are able to more fully understand observed trends and results and gain insights from programme partners and target audiences in a timely fashion that allows for programme adaptation and improvement. Conducting interviews in an on-going fashion rather than as part of a summative or ex-post evaluation ensures that reflections, lessons and outcomes are captured at the time and reduces the risk of losing information due to staff turnover or changing programme approaches.Semi-structured interviews provide an evidence base to draw on in the development of a range of more formal reporting products including:Annual reportsEpisode studiesPerformance Story ReportsEvaluationsThey are also a rich source of data for program reflection, adaptation and improvement. This type of qualitative monitoring data is often used to inform evidence based reflection as part of annual programme planning cycles.

What does unstructured interview mean? Situational questions: Pose a hypothetical job situation to determine what the applicant would do in that situation. Job knowledge questions: Probe the applicant’s job-related knowledge. Job-sample simulation questions: Involve situations where an applicant may be required to perform a sample task from the job. More items...