The Delphi technique uses a highly structured and focused questionnaire approach in order to establish a consensus opinion from 'experts'. Recognising that these experts may be geographically dispersed, it was designed to be conducted by post, although this does not preclude its use in face to face interviews.
The method is iterative, and first aims to obtain a broad range of opinions from the target group.
The results of the initial survey are collated, summarised and then form the basis of a second, follow on questionnaire. Results from the second questionnaire inform a third and final questionnaire.
The aim is to progressively clarify and expand on issues, identify areas of agreement or disagreement and begin to establish priorities.
Define the problem
Round one questions
General questions to gain a broad understanding of the views of the experts relating to the problem. Responses should be collated and summarised.
Round two questions
Based on the responses to the first questions, these questions should dig more deeply into the topic to clarify specific issues. Again, collate and summarise the results.
Round three questions
The final questionnaire which aims to focus on supporting decision making.
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