A number of NDI programs have integrated research into activities intended to help political parties, government officials, and civil society leaders become more responsive to and representative of citizens. Party programs have used focus groups in particular as a tool to help parties develop more informed policies and messages, create new outreach strategies and organize issue-based campaigns.

It is for this reason that the Political Party Development Team produced “From Proposal to Presentation: The Focus Group Process at NDI.” The guide is designed to help NDI program staff in the field and in D.C. plan for and conduct—with the assistance of an outside research consultant or firm—a series of focus groups. The first four chapters introduce qualitative and quantitative research, explain how to prepare a proposal and budget, describe the NDI procurement process for hiring a consultant or firm, and outline considerations specific to party programs. The remaining four chapters look at focus group methodology, the role of the moderator, writing the moderator’s guide, and preparing presentations and reports appropriate to your target audiences. Scattered throughout the guide and appendices are examples and lessons learned from NDI programs.

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