Education & Training

Introduction to Conducting Focus Groups

An overview of planning and conducting focus groups and analyzing focus group data posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center with a focus on coastal management, but broad applicability. 

Focus groups are useful tools that require only a small number of participants when compared to many other social science methods. The typical objective of a focus group is not consensus or debate, but rather to generate ideas and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to express feelings about a particular topic.

This document is an introduction to key elements and practices that can increase the success of a focus group effort. Topics include

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