Group Discussion

FGD or focus group discussion is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their insight, outlook, viewpoint and attitudes towards a issue, service, product, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. The moderator asks questions in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members.

This method derives research strategies in which theories of social psychology and communication were applied and rarer incorporated into social sciences research methods. In a focus group discussion. people from similar backgrounds or experiences (e.g., mothers, young married men, birch attendants/mid-wives) are brought together to discuss a specific topic of interest to the investigator(s). Homogeneous samples are preferred because mixing age/ gender groups may inhibit some people, especially women, from expressing their views.

Purpose of FGD

1). To discover the range of opinions/views on a topic/ issue.
2). To look at meanings of survey findings that cannot be explained statistically.

Procedure

1). First of all, a group of suitable discussion participants need to be identified and invited to a meeting at an agreed place and time. The ideal number of participants is six to eight, but be flexible about numbers – do not turn away participants after they had arrived at the meeting and do not pressure people to come to the meeting.

2). As a modearator one should be mentally prepared for the session; to remain alert to be able to observe, listen, and keep the discussion on track for a period of one to two hours.

3). Modeartor should make sure that s/he arrives at the agreed place before the participants, and be ready to greet them.

4). The moderator should posses a neutral attitude and appearance, and never start talking about the topic of interest before the official opening of the group discussion. The FGD should start with introduction of the moderator and the team (even if the participants have already met them individually), and ask participants to introduce themselves.

5). The moderator needs to inform the participants that s/he is not looking for any right or wrong answer but wants to learn what each participant’s views are. It must be made clear to all participants that their views will be valued.

6). The discussion should be brought to a close when the moderator feels the topic has been exhausted. Moderator should sincerely thanks to the participants for their contributions. Refreshments may be served at the end of the meeting as a way of thanking the participants and maintaining good rapport with them.