Group Dimensions International

Research, Focus Group Training, and Facilitation for Group Effectiveness​

                                                         NONA TSOTSERIA

GDI Associate Director for Policy Analysis, Nona Tsotseria joined GDI in 2009. She has contributed to the CIS CEDAW Watch , a project for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (now UNWOMEN) for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  Nona received her MD from Tblisi State Medical Institute and has worked as a neurologist in the Republic of Georgia. After receiving her Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, she consulted with the Georgian Government about Health Care Reform. She conducted research at the Maine Department of Health and Human Resources about quality of health care for Medicaid enrollees. In 2011, Nona earned a PhD degree in Public Policy at the Muskie School, University of Southern Maine. She works on data analysis for health care in the State of Maine.

Among her contributions to GDI’s work, Dr. Tsotseria co-led “The CIS Gender Mosaic: Establishing Baseline Data and Indicators for the Gender Goals—Harmonized Indicators for the MDGS, BPFA, and CEDAW,” UNIFEM-CIS—United Nations Development Fund for Women, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2008-2009). She has also written academic papers and policy reports about socio-economic issues in the CIS countries, including child labor in Georgia. She is fluent in Georgian, Russian, English, and has reading knowledge of German and Spanish. 


​​​​​​​​​Janet Mancini Billson is Director of Group Dimensions International, LLC, a research and consulting firm specializing in policy analysis, evaluation, and community development. She served from 1973-1996 as Professor of Sociology and Women Studies at Rhode Island College and The George Washington University.

A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Billson has received the Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contributions to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award, Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, 2008; the Stuart A. Rice Career Achievement Award, District of Columbia Sociological Society, 2001; the Lifetime Award for Sociological Practice, Society for Applied Sociology, 2000; and Alumna of the Year Award, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, US, 1999.

Billson served as the Killam Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies at the Minnock Center for Global Engagement, Bridgewater State University. She has also served as Visiting Scholar, Well-Being in Developing Countries Research Group, University of Bath, UK, 2003-2004, and Visiting Professor, University of Exeter, UK, 1981. She continues as Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at George Washington.
Billson has used focus groups, executive interviews, and surveys to explore organizational and community development issues in the US, Canada, and developing countries. She has conducted policy and evaluation research all over the world for government agencies, universities, colleges, and hospitals
Billson conducts training workshops on focus group research, group facilitation, and teamwork for various organizations, including the Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She regularly conducts the annual focus group training workshop for the World Bank’s International Program for Development Effectiveness Training in Ottawa.
Billson received her PhD in Sociology from Brandeis University.  Her scholarly work has centered on gender identity in the context of social change and the impacts of urbanization and development. She is the author of Female Well-Being: Towards a Global Theory of Social Change (with Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban), with chapters on Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Iceland, Japan, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, UK, and US; Keepers of the Culture: The Power of Tradition in Women’s Lives (Canada); Inuit Women: Their Powerful Spirit in a Century of Change (Canada); Cool Pose: Dilemmas of Black Manhood in America; and Pathways to Manhood: Young Black Males Struggle for Identity. She is also Editor of Skywood Press, a publishing house that specializes in accessible, readable training materials for evaluation research methods that are used in focus group and survey research training workshops around the world, including:

  • In Focus: How Focus Group Discussions Can Inform Your Evaluation. Washington, DC: An Independent Evaluation Group “Blue Book,” The World Bank, forthcoming, Spring 2016.
  • The On-the-Road Map: Focus Group Manual, Department of Veterans Affairs, OCAP.
  • The Power of Focus Groups for Social, Policy, and Academic Research, 6th edition. Woolwich, ME: Skywood Press, 2010 (special editions: Focus on International Development, Focus on Health, Focus on Education, and Spanish edition). 
  • Making Sense of SPSS and Surveys: From Design to Analysis. Woolwich, ME: Skywood Press, 2010.
  • Conducting Professional Focus Group Discussions: A Practical Guidebook. National Institute for Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice, 2010.
  • “Conducting Focus Group Research across Cultures: Consistency and Comparability,” Research Paper No. 1, WeD--Well-Being in Developing Countries Research Group, University of Bath, England.


The GDI Team...award-winning and innovative!

Providing you with the best in the field for comprehensive research:

program evaluation methods, program evaluation research, education program evaluation, 

focus group training, and group facilitation


As GDI Senior Research Analyst, Katherine Bessey (BA) has several years of experience in both quantitative and qualitative research. She was awarded the Ann Kirsten Pokora prize for distinguished academics and excellence in Mathematics for her work in Manifold Analysis and Topology at Smith College. She is also a student of the Italian culture and art. She is fluent in English and Italian, and she reads in Spanish. For GDI she has worked on such database development and management, coding and preliminary analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Projects for GDI include Leadership Alliance Evaluation of SR-EIP (Brown University 2011-present); Internal Organizational Development Study (African Development Bank, 2010-11); Internal and External Evaluation Study (Inter-American Development Bank, 2010-11); and “Staff Learning Needs: Perceptions of HNP Staff and Managers,” World Bank Global HNP Practice (Washington, DC), 2013-2014. Katie will complete her Master’s in evaluation and policy research at the Muskie School, University of Southern Maine, May 2017.


GDI Senior Associate, Megan Mullins received her doctorate in Sociology from Western Michigan University. Dr. Mullins specializes in qualitative research methods and has significant experience conducting focus groups, key stakeholder interviews, participant observation, secondary data analysis, and content analysis research. She also has extensive experience developing and directing survey research projects emphasizing community development initiatives. For GDI, Dr. Mullins has led several surveys, including a national project, “Pathways to a Healthy Economy” (Population Connection, 2012-13).

Dr. Mullins' research has been used to evaluate and make improvements to organizational services, begin new initiatives, and strengthen organizational strategic plans. In addition to her work with GDI, she has directed both qualitative and quantitative research projects for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the Battle Creek Women's Drug Court, the Department of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University, and the John E. Fetzer Institute. Dr. Mullins, who teaches Sociology at the college level, is trained in conflict resolution and mediation processes.

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The Group Dimensions International Team

With Group Dimensions International (GDI), you will always work with an experienced professional who will focus on your unique research,

training, or facilitation needs…