Depending on the circumstances of each context and programme we use a variety of approaches that go beyond a simple collection of data in an attempt to reach a meaningfully engagement with all concerned actors and stakeholders. Among the data collection methods we use are:


Young people are at the heart of development and so this method intends to engage and train youth to conduct research and generate findings to solve issues that matter to themselves and their communities. It is a learning and action process that promotes the co-production of knowledge by empowering young people, especially those facing exclusion or marginalisation, to understand the roots of the problems and to acquire the necessary tools to take action.


These are intensive workshops bringing together relevant stakeholders and staff to construct a timeline and gain an understanding of innovations and gains brought about by project, areas of weakness and improvement. They are useful to collect the perspectives of very stakeholders and to produce written material in a limited period of time.


Is a small group of people brought together to discuss a particular topic. It is a type of qualitative research aimed at bringing out participants’ perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards such topic. It enables an interaction and the discussion of ideas and perspectives among members of the group. Our team at IWORDS has a vast experience conducting focus groups in many of our previous work with institutions, organisations and beneficiaries of programmes.


These are evaluation processes focused on an in-depth understanding of a unit (person or site) analysing the real impact and appropriateness of the programme, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, and complemented thus by the rest of the methodologies.


We use an adapted version of the PEER method in which members of the beneficiary group conduct conversational reviews with other people involved in the programme to gain their stories and perspectives. This approach is particularly useful to generate information on sensitive issues. It enables a more authentic ‘insider view’ to be generated, and helps overcome barriers of culture, language and mistrust. The approach is suitable for use with non-literate, hard to reach groups, and people with no previous research experience but works best with adults and young adults.


Photovoice is a participatory action research method used to identify problems from a person or a community. Participants are asked to capture photographs of scenes, items or subjects that are related to the research and which represent an interest or concern to them. The photographs are then discussed in groups, with the purpose of forming a narrative that explains such problem or concern. The tool is useful to document and communicate particular issues to the wider community, programme implementing organisations and policy makers.