M3.07. Conducting evaluation of the mentoring process

3. Use of Qualitative Methods

3.1. Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative Methods

Advantages Disadvantages
Provides understanding and description of in-depth experiences by individuals in your strategy, initiative or program. Not useful if you want to generalise findings to the whole study population (i.e., findings may be relevant only to one group of individuals that the programme serves).
Provides you or the evaluator with an opportunity to explain definitions or questions that are unclear to participants. Participants may not feel comfortable verbalising and discussing sensitive topics.
You or the evaluator can easily guide and redirect questions in real time. Collecting and analysing data can be expensive and time consuming.
Findings may be easier to interpret for some of your stakeholders who are uncomfortable with numbers and other forms of quantitative data.
A useful approach when no readily available, field-tested survey questionnaires or assessment tools exist for the topic you want to explore.