Research Guide: Observation

“How do girls get in touch with one another? What shops do they go to? What is it like to walk in their shoes? Our research involved actual observations and documentation of first-hand experiences.”—Edwin Mtei, A360 Program Manager, TanzaniaWhat is it?

A guide for adult researchers to use when observing in- and out-of-school youth. As with all guides in this series, this simple tool illustrates our use of formative, human-centered design research to generate insights that our team later analyzed as a group from the perspectives of our various disciplines: adolescent developmental science, socio-cultural anthropology, youth engagement, public health, and social marketing.

How did we use it?

As a guide to support youth and adult design researchers in their direct observation of a group of adolescents in their social environment. The guide helps researchers understand what to look for, what rationale and notes to record in their observations, and provides proper protocols to follow before and during their observational research. Note: We used this process in all three countries, though the example shared here is from our Ethiopia team.

Consider using it to:

Guide your observation of adolescents to identify areas for potential interest, including but not limited to how girls group themselves, interact, use technology, behave, and react to their peers and adults.



Download the Formative Research Observation Guide below. And check out the sidebar to explore all of our Formative Research Guides!