A focus group interview is an inexpensive, rapid appraisal technique that can provide managers with a wealth of qualitative information on performance of development activities, services, and products, or other issues. A facilitator guides 7 to 12 people in a discussion of their experiences, feelings, and preferences about a topic.

In public opinion research, groups are carefully constructed according to specified demographic criteria with the purpose of being able to make certain generalisations to the population as a whole.

In evaluation research, they are most frequently used either for pre-post comparison, or retrospectively asking participants how they think the different program components affected them.

Focus groups are usually audio recorded and video recordings can be made if desired using a static camera. One-way screens are not available.