Key Informant Interviews

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Key Informants

  • Community residents (sometimes leaders) who are in a position to know the community, have wide contacts  in the community and community members look to them for answers on community issues. The interview often provides opportunity to build trust. This is often the first step in relationship building for future program or project.
  • First-hand knowledge about community, residents, issues, problems and may want to learn more about them.
  • Personal knowledge or experience with the issue and able to express themselves.
  • Able to express thoughts, feels, opinions, experiences, perspectives.
  • Professional person who works with group or target audience
  • Look for diversity for a broad range of perspectives. Think about key informants of different age, ethnic background, religion, education, roles in the community etc.
  • May refer you to others to be interviewed

Key Informant Interviews

  • Use a small set of questions (5-8 questions)
  • Should last 20 – 30 minutes but may go longer if interviewee is interested
  • Conversational and loosely structured
  • One respondent and one interviewer
  • Interviewer is flexible and able to add questions as they go
  • Setting up the interview takes the most time -be persistent!
  • Questions are open-ended such as –
    • What do you think about...
    • What is your experience with...
    • Can you tell me about...
    • What are some examples of


Molly Donovan
Community Economic Development State Specialist
Assoc State Specialist
Phone: (603) 862-5046
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall Rm 204C, Durham, NH 03824