Organise a focus group

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Focus groups are a technique used to find out what issues are of most concern for a community or group when little or no information is available.


  • Randomly select 6-10 people affected by or interested in the community issue to make up the focus group.
  • Book venue and arrange catering if meeting goes across a meal time.
  • Hire a facilitator.
  • Prepare preliminary questions.
  • Send reminders to participant with time, date, venue and questions.
  • Brief participants and the facilitator on the aims and objectives of the session.
  • Establish ground rules: keep focused, maintain momentum, get closure on questions.
  • Encourage shy participants if they feel anxious about revealing their opinions/feelings.
  • Engage a co-facilitator to record issues raised by individuals (may use audio, a/visual, and/or written notes).
  • De-brief the participants and the facilitator.
  • Compile a report of proceedings for the organisers, and offer a copy to the participants.


Focus groups experience in Estonia, The Netherlands and Sweden.


The author of this article is UNIVE team
The article has been reviewed by Plan Bleu and PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.