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How to interview your small charity beneficiaries

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Event description
This webinar will introduce you to semi-structured interviews as a way of gathering useful data to evaluate your services and identify need.

About this Event

Interviews are a conversation with a purpose. They are more personalised than surveys and often a better way to explore potentially sensitive subjects than focus groups.

Asking people questions gives them the chance to say what they think and feel without the pressure of writing. With 7.1 million adults in the UK having ‘very poor literacy skills’, being able to speak out can be a game-changer.

But how do you get started if your background isn’t in research and evaluation? What recording equipment might you need? And are there free or very low cost digital tools that can help save time as well as money?

This practical webinar will introduce you to semi-structured interviews as a way of gathering useful information to evaluate your services or discover ideas or needs in your communities. It will also suggest and demo digital tools that can help you conduct your interviews both in person and virtually.

There will be time to ask questions and follow up help will be on hand to help you get started with the digital tools that interest you.

Part 1 - Semi-structured interviews

Semi-structured interviews are a particularly useful way of gathering research and evaluation data as they can strike a balance between having purely structured interviews with pre-determined questions or unstructured interviews that are entirely tailored to the interviewee.

Semi-structured interviews focus on a specific topic yet leave flexibility to explore areas within it that the interviewee might feel more strongly or be more knowledgeable about. This session will cover:

  • the difference between structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews;
  • the use of semi-structured interviews for research and evaluation;
  • how to plan, conduct and analyse semi-structured interviews and
  • top tips for conducting semi-structured interviews.

Part 2 - Recording your interviews: digital tools and tips for success

Once you have your semi-structured interview planned, how are you going to record it? Are you holding your interview online? What about sound quality? And what equipment do you have to hand?

Recording your interviews can be a lot easier and more accurate than taking detailed notes. It also keeps your attention on the person you are talking to, helping you notice the small things that words escape.

This session will cover:

  • free and affordable digital tools (online and offline) to record interviews
  • free / affordable tools for transcribing and editing your recordings
  • top tips for recording your interviews

Trainer/s

Angela Schlenkhoff-Hus is the Programme Director at Coalition for Efficiency as well as the Chair of The Josephine & Jack Project. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent, and her research focused on questions of identity and Home/Homeland of Afghan refugees in London.

While she received training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and used a mixed methods approach in her work, the bulk of her data was collected using qualitative data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews, oral histories, focus groups and participant observation. She continues to apply these skills in her role at Coalition for Efficiency as well as in training charities in how to apply ethnographic data collection methods in their own work.

Sorrel Parsons is a Digital Adviser & Training Manager at Superhighways and has 15 years of supporting charities and community organisations and volunteers in the UK to communicate with the people that matter to them, demonstrate their impact and raise funds.

Sorrel is a fan of making digital work on a shoestring.

More about the programme

This training event forms part of the Datawise London programme, funded by City Bridge Trust as part of the Cornerstone Fund. London’s community data is one of our greatest assets. Our mission at Datawise is to help you unlock it.

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