Search form

Section 3. Obtaining and Using Feedback from Participants

What do we mean by feedback from participants?

___Feedback from participants consists of reactions to, opinions about, and/or information on what you do from those to whom it’s offered or who benefit from it

Feedback may be:

___Positive, negative, or neutral

___Objective or subjective

___Enhanced by knowledge of community history, personalities and relationships, culture, etc.

___Limited by lack of knowledge, information, or understanding

___Solicited or unsolicited

___Direct or indirect

Why do you need feedback from participants?

___It’s part of being customer-centered

___It gives you tools to improve your program

___It allows you to respond to changes in the community, the population, or the situation

___It can give you information about the history of the community, the history of your issue in the community, or the history of your population

___It can inform you about personalities and relationships in the community and/or the population you’re working with

___It can tell you when your methods or approach aren’t working

___It can tell you when you’re treating people in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, angry, or otherwise disrespected

___It can help you deal with what’s important to participants, even though that may not be your major goal

___It can assure that your objectives make as much sense for participants as they do for you

Who are participants that can offer feedback?

___Adults and teens with no intellectual, psychological, or social barriers

___People with mental illness


___At-risk or troubled youth

___Developmentally delayed or retarded teens and adults

___Speakers of other than the majority language

___People who have left the program

When might you ask for feedback from participants?

___Before you begin an effort (Plan)

___As you develop a program, initiative, or intervention (Do)

___Before you implement your plan (Check)

___While the work progresses and in evaluating it (Act)

___In making adjustments and starting the cycle again (Analyze)

What are some methods for obtaining feedback from participants?


___Individual interviews

___Small group interviews and focus groups

___Town meeting or whole-program format meetings


How can you increase your chances of getting good feedback?

___Guaranteeing anonymity

___Explaining why you need feedback, and how you’ll use it

___Being clear about exactly what kind of feedback you want

___Sharing the results with participants

How do you use feedback from participants?

___Use it to understand the needs of the community

___Use it to respond to changes in the situation of participants, the community, the political climate, etc.

___Use it to improve your program by responding to the need for change in attitudes, methods, content, etc.

___Use it to create or strengthen an organizational culture that encourages and welcomes feedback, and uses it well