Focus group interview is one of the most important techniques ofdata collection in the qualitative method. It is also significant for answeringresearch questions such as how do people consider an experience, idea, or event.Anderson (1990) introduced focus group as “a group comprised of individualswith certain characteristics who focus discussions on a given issue or topic”. Onthe other hand, Denscombe (2007) defined focus groups as “focus group consistsof a small group of people, usually between six and nine in number, who arebrought together by a trained moderator (the researcher) to explore attitudesand perceptions, feelings and ideas about a topic”. Importantly, such aninterview offers an opportunity for similar groups to reflect on the questionsasked by the researcher or moderator (Dilshad & Latif, 2013).
Additionally, a very important and high-quality data can becollected when researcher conduct focus group interview in the process of datacollection (Patton, 2002). It is significant because the questions as why andwhen in focus group interview can be adopted to understand the phenomenon. Significantly,scholars provided three justifications for selecting focus group interview.Firstly, as Stewart (2008) suggests, when the researchers don’t have a sufficientinformation about the phenomenon, they may better do focus group interviews. Hefurther argues that, through focus group interview “a rich and detailed set ofdata about perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and impressions of people in theirown words” can be collected. Secondly, the focus group is most important when aresearcher attempts to find out the participant’s understanding and experiencesregarding the phenomenon or the research area (Kitzinger, 1995). Thirdly, themethod is important when a researcher tries to investigate about sensitiveissues such as HIV, corruption, and poverty (Dilshad & Latif, 2013).
Besides, number of participates and the timeframe are two importantelements which researchers should concern about. The successful focus groupinterview also depends on the number of participants and the time selected.Most of the scholars agreed that the participants` number should be between sixto twelve interviewees.
If the number less than six participants, researchersface difficulties to provide the synergy required. Moreover, if the number of participantsreach more than twelve participates, researchers unable to manage all of them(Anderson, 1990; Stewart, 1990; Patton, 2002; Denscombe, 2007; Morgan, 2011;Ritchie & Lewis, 2003; Dilshad & Latif, 2013). Besides, timeframe alsosignificant, some scholars identified that the time should not be less thansixty minutes and no more than ninety minutes.
Accordingly, while the nature of this study is exploratoryresearch, the focus group interview is quite significant for collecting data inexploratory research design. As mentioned earlier focus group interview isquite important in qualitative methods as well. The method selected based onthe nature of the study which is the area remained understudies and there is alack of information regarding the issue. Therefore, focus group interview issignificant to be adopted for collected required data in this study. this isbecause according to the objectives the study intends to get an answer for “why”and “how” questions.
Therefore, getting such data enforces researcherto go beyond surface information and investigate in-depth for getting desiredata to answer the questions and achieve the objectives. More importantly,since the study attempts to collect data from NGOs, experts and policymakers,through focus group interview the researcher can gather policymakers, NGOs andexperts to have a group interview to understand the phenomenon and find thedesirable answers. 3.4.2 Population of the study and respondent selectionAs mentioned earlier this study will adopt in-depth semi-structuredinterview as a data collection instrument to achieve the study`s objectives.Accordingly, the population will be NGOs, experts, and KRIs policymakers. In Kurdistanregion the number of NGOs reaches to 2344 NGOs, however, not all them areoperating or active (KRG, 2017). Thus, this study focusses on those NGOs whooperating in anti-corruption and good governance field, the number of such NGOsno more than 100 NGOs, however, few of them operating and active currently(KCI, 2017).
Nevertheless, the number of anti-corruption NGOs is not announcedofficially. Besides, the anti-corruption policymakers are one of the targetedpopulation in this study to understand the extent of NGOs influences and thefactors that directly affected NGOs role either positively or negatively. Similarly,the experts and academicians have been targeted to be a part of interviewparticipates to understand the both sides arguments and justifications also toevaluation the policymakers and NGOs role. Thus, the study will collect datafrom those mentioned samples to conduct the study objectives. Nevertheless, sampling in the qualitative method is not important.Clearly, there is no limited number of participates to respond in thequalitative research.
According to the resent studies the number swing between5 to 25 interviewees. It means the minimum is 5 and the maximum is 25participants, it is depending on the study and researchers (Polkinghorne,1989). More importantly, the sampling sometimes continues until reaches thesaturation (Guest, et al., 2006; Morse, 1995; Mason 2010). Previously, the termsaturation was used as “theoretical saturation” (Glaser & Strauss, 1967)later changed to “saturation knowledge” (Bertaux, 1981). Bertaux explains thatresearchers can stop interviewing when they surprised or learns a great dealfrom the first few interviewees.
Clearly, saturation will have occurred when researchersrealized that the first few respondents have answered the questions almost thesame and there are no different answers. However, Mason (2010), advices that Ph.D. students may stop samplingwhen the number of participants is a multiple to ten rather than when thesaturation has happened. Consequently, this study interested to interview 25 participates,among them NGOs, policymakers, and experts.
As Polkinghorne (1989) recommended,to collect a reliable and useful data, researchers can interview from 5 to 25respondents who have all experienced in the phenomenon. Meanwhile, differenttypes of questions will be asked from each of the groups. The questionsselected based on the participant positions and selected to understand eachgroups viewpoint.