Focus groups, listening sessions, and youth summits are ways to gather information directly from the community. A qualitative survey is a survey that can collect in-depth information regarding an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations. While it’s more difficult to collect quantitative information this way, it can often yield great insights into the community and the effectiveness of its programs.
Focus groups are generally concerned on a single topic, involving guided discussion regarding perceptions, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. A demographically diverse group of people can provide a better consensus on the topic of discussion. Focus groups are excellent for gauging where the community stands on issues and where the focus might need to be further directed.
ECS can help by developing effective sample questions, running focus groups, and providing a report of the findings.
Listening sessions provide people the opportunity to express their points of view. They can be used to gauge audience opinions and thoughts on specific topics, questions, and issues in the community. A listening session is larger than a focus group and less directed.
ECS can help mediate listening sessions, which often have a wide cross-section of the community in attendance. Once the listening sessions are completed, ECS can provide a report of the findings.
Youth summits are a positive youth learning experience, which provides education and skill-building activities for youth, while also engaging them on issues within their community. Through a youth summit, organizations are able to gain additional information regarding student impressions and thoughts.
ECS can help mediate sessions with students, focus them on the issues that are important, and provide tips and skill-building activities.
“Key Informant Interviews”-Key informant interviews are qualitative in-depth interviews with people who know what is going on in the community. The purpose of key informant interviews is to collect information from a wide range of people—including community leaders, professionals, or residents—who have first hand knowledge about the community