This event has now passed.
Interviews and focus groups are key to exploring diverse perspectives, and understanding peoples’ needs and experiences in depth. Our training provides practical guidance for successfully designing and implementing individual and group discussions with different audiences.

Date and time:

Session 1: Thursday 15 June 2023, 9:30am-1:00pm


Online – Zoom link provided prior to training
NOTE: Session times are Australian Eastern Standard Time

About this event

Practical training for purposeful data collection

In this module you will learn everything you need to know to plan and facilitate successful interviews and focus groups for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL). We will guide you step by step through the design of interview and focus groups guides, avoiding common pitfalls. Our clear framework will help you think through the many considerations involved in conducting individual and group discussions to gather high quality data. You’ll learn from our experience and insights as well as getting some first-hand skills practice during learning activities.

After completing this module, you will have reviewed and critiqued interview and focus group guides, and practised facilitation of an interview or focus group. You will take away sample interview questions that you have developed aligned with a MEL Framework, as well as useful examples and resources for ongoing use.

You will build your skills to:

  • Understand how interviews and focus groups connect with broader MEL approaches, and identify when and how to use these methods
  • Apply key principles for designing effective interviews and focus groups for different audiences and contexts
  • Facilitate interviews and focus groups effectively, managing participant dynamics and gathering high quality data
  • Understand ethical considerations relating to interviews and focus groups, and apply practical strategies to minimise risks

Our approach

Our down-to-earth training is specially designed for social purpose organisations across health, community services, education, international development and beyond. Participants in our interactive workshops use real projects as working examples, with a strong focus on ‘learning by doing’. Our facilitators draw on their extensive experience in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning to explain complex concepts in plain language, and help you apply them to your own context.

Here's what a past training participant said about our MEL training:

The facilitation was excellent. Trainers were friendly and knowledgeable and talked about the topic in a very accessible way. There was a gentle way of guiding people during small group discussion that were nice to see. The use of real life examples was useful. The pace of the training was well-timed.

Intended audience

This module is designed for people who have beginner to intermediate skills in MEL data collection. It is highly relevant to those working in and with for-purpose organisations, whose roles relate to any of the following:

  • Research or evaluation
  • Planning, design and development of services and programs
  • Program or project management
  • Quality improvement or stakeholder engagement

Our presenters

Photo of Kate Randall
Kate Randall
Kate is a values-driven trainer, consultant and manager with expertise in design, monitoring, evaluation and capacity building.

Further information

Module ID

  • MEL-04: Digging into data collection – Effective Interviews and Focus Groups

Format of this module

  • This module is delivered online via 1 x half day session.
  • This module includes a mix of large group and small group work.
  • Places are limited to 20 attendees.

Related training modules

Evaluation processes frequently involve surveys as well as interviews and focus groups. We encourage participants registering for this module to also register for our module on Effective Surveys (MEL-03), as these two modules together cover the most common MEL data collection methods.

Other training options

We also deliver in-house training for organisations. Contact us for details and a customised quote.

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Questions about our training programs?


For all enquiries about this training, please contact:

Hadijah Tamam, Administration Coordinator
Phone: 0407 314 716
Email: bookings [at]