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
Not speaking loudly and clearly.
Not making proper eye contact. (Staring at the questionnaire)
Laughing at a response.
Not saying "anything else?" each time properly
for the multiple responses questions.
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.
If the respondent is silent on a question, change the
wording immediately instead of repeating it once exactly
as it is written.
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.”
Guiding a mother to a specific response.
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.
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?”
Not using the child’s name when asking a question
Examples of Proper and Improper