In-depth Interviews

Program evaluators often need to interview participants in a program, both those within the organization and in communities served, to determine their attitudes about the program or knowledge about it objectives. Although the purposes of such interviews vary, they include attempts to determine whether a program has

  • • Reached a target audience,
  • • Increased the target audience’s awareness of the program,
  • • Increased the level of community interest,
  • • Increased the number who use the program or service, and
  • • Provided a satisfactory service.

In-depth interviews incorporate structured questions to elicit key information about a proposed or ongoing program, along with contextual probes, or follow-up questions that may or may not be used, depending on the response to the key question. This method allows for an interview process sufficiently flexible to better understand expected responses and to collect information on emergent or unexpected responses. Such detail can be invaluable in identifying program barriers, acceptability, and initial participant satisfaction. Using this method, program planners should be able to document community and organizational input and support.

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