The promise of appreciative inquiry as an interview tool for field research
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) has long been used as a methodology for understanding organisational learning and change. This paper discusses its applications to interview-based field research within the development context. While AI begins by looking at the best of an organisation or individual’s experience, it can help researchers to gain a textured and detailed understanding of both their subjects’ greatest successes and their most serious obstacles. Based on research conducted with directors of NGOs across Africa, the paper provides anecdotal evidence that using AI in interviews creates a comfortable and stimulating environment for interviewees that can yield an exceptional quality of information.
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