Food for the Hungry Logo Barrier Analysis: A Tool for Improving Behavior Change Communication in Child Survival and Community Development Programs
Background Information
What is Barrier Analysis
How to Conduct Barrier Analysis
Defining the goal, behavior & target group
Developing the behavior question
Developing questions about determinants
Organizing the analysis sessions
Collecting field data
Organizing and analyzing results
Using the results

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  Good Interviewing Techniques

Good Interviewing Techniques

Whether your organization chooses the focus group or individual interview approach, staff members will need to be good at interviewing in order to carry out Barrier Analysis successively.

It is not enough simply for the interviewers to ask all of the questions on the questionnaire. They must do so in the proper way so that the responses that respondents give them are valid (truly reflect what the respondent knows and does).

“In what ways might using this improper technique affect the outcomes of the survey?” For some of the improper techniques, the effects will be fairly general. For example, if an interviewer does not make proper eye contact, the respondent may not trust the interviewer and may not give very accurate information for all of the questions.

Other improper techniques may have a more specific effect. For example in a question like “Where do you get general information or advice on health or nutrition?,” if the interviewer stops saying “anyone else?” after the respondent mentions two sources (such as “doctor” and “nurse”), then the interviewer may miss other important sources of advice that influence respondents’ decisions (such as grandparents or traditional healers).

Common Interview Mistakes

  1. Not speaking loudly and clearly.

  2. Not making proper eye contact. (Staring at the questionnaire)

  3. Laughing at a response.

  4. Not saying "anything else?" each time properly for the multiple responses questions.

  5. Complimenting and/or educating the respondent during the interview. “Oh that’s great. It’s really important to breastfeed. I’m glad to see that you are doing that.” Scolding the interviewee.

  6. If the respondent is silent on a question, change the wording immediately instead of repeating it once exactly as it is written.

  7. When a respondent says, “I don’t understand the question,” the interviewer rewords the question in a way that changes the meaning. For example, when asking “Did your child eat carrots or sweet potatoes yesterday during the day or night?,” and a mother does not respond, prompting her with a question like, “Does your child eat carrots or sweet potatoes?” This changes the question since the intent is to look at foods eaten over the past 24 hours rather than foods eaten in general or “ever eaten.”

  8. Guiding a mother to a specific response.

  9. Assuming a response without asking. For example, if a mother reports not giving water to a child, assuming that she is NOT giving the child milk or juice.

  10. Asking a closed (i.e., yes/no) question when an open question is indicated. For example, instead of asking, “How many months old is this child?” (open), asking “Is this child under 24 months old?” (closed)

  11. Not using the child’s name when asking a question

Examples of Proper and Improper Interviewing Techniques Download Adobe Acrobat Reader (74kb)

  Developing Questions About Determinants
Focus Groups
  Individual Interviews
Good Interviewing Techniques


Next (Organizing the analysis sessions)

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© November 2004

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