Designing Data Collection Instruments

We assist our customers in developing research instruments. This MAINLY include Questionnaires and Interview guides. However, there are other instruments that we assist our clients to develop like observations guides among others depending on varied research designs:

Questionnaire Method

One method which can be used to ask questions is to use a questionnaire. This is a set of written questions on a sheet with spaces provided for respondents to reply to the questions. Questionnaires are frequently self-administered or they may be used during an interview. A questionnaire is most useful when you want to collect a small amount of clearly defined facts from a large number of people. Although very useful, there are two important disadvantages of self-administered questionnaires: Only people who can read and write can answer them (many street children are not literate); Less opportunity exists for street children to explain confusing answers.


Interviewing is one of the commonest method of collecting information from individuals. It is not surprising, then, that interviewing takes several forms:

Structured interviews, in which the wording of the questions and their sequence is the same from one interview to another; the respondents must choose from a limited number of answers that have been written in advance.

Semi-structured interviews, in which the interviewer asks important questions in the same way each time but is free to alter the sequence of the questions and to probe for more information; respondents can answer the questions in any way they choose.

Unstructured interviews, in which interviewers have a list of topics they want respondents to talk about but are free to phrase the questions as they wish; the respondents are free to answer in any way they choose.

Focus Group

Some important points to remember about the focus group as a means of collecting information:

a) This method is frequently used to explore a new issue in monitoring and evaluation studies and to discover what a group of people or project workers might think or feel about a question or problem.

b) The goal is to provide an opportunity for participants to talk to one another about a specific topic.

c) The facilitator is there to guide the discussion but should avoid intervening in the discussion.

Observation Method

It is, perhaps, the technique most closely related to everyday life. It involves watching and recording the behaviour of individuals or groups, or the events that occur in a particular place. One of the advantages of using this approach is that you may choose when and where to carry out the observation procedure and so ensure that you will have a good chance of seeing the people or the behaviour you wish to observe.

Document Analysis

The biggest advantage of this method is that a large amount of reliable information can be obtained without questioning many people.

The charges range between Kshs.1,500 to Kshs. 3,500.

The charges depend on the level of the study (Diploma, Degree, Undergraduate and Post graduate) and on the types and the number of instruments (Questionnaires, Interview guides, Observation schedules, etc).

For more inquiries, please contact us