ABSTRACT

Focus group research is designed to gather spoken data from members of a small group. A skilled group facilitator presents a series of questions in a conversational format. Planners use focus group research when they need more in-depth, qualitative data than can be obtained from a survey, but not the fine-grain detail that is generated from individual interviews. Focus group research helps a planner discover how a particular situation affects the various groups confronted by it. The best way to get the word out to the targeted people in the community and have a high rate of attendance is by going door-to-door to talk to them about the upcoming focus group meetings. However, this approach is very costly in terms of both time and money. Nonpolicy researchers use focus groups with the primary goal of saturation to determine the number of focus group meetings they hold.