Conducting Key Informant Interviews
What Are Key Informant Interviews?
They are qualitative, in-depth interviews of 15 to 35 people selected for their first-hand knowledge about a topic of interst. The interviews are loosely structured, relying on a list of issues to be discussed. Key informant interviews resemble a conversation among acquaintances, allowing a free flow of ideas and information. Interviewers frame questions spontaneously, probe for information and takes notes, which are elaborated on later.
Advantages of key informant interviews include:
• they provide information directly from knowledgeable people
• they provide flexibility to explore new ideas and issues not anticipated during planning
• they are inexpensive and simple to conduct
• they are not appropriate if quantitative data are needed
• they may be biased if informants are not carefully selected
• they are susceptible to interviewer biases
• it may be difficult to prove validity of findings