Qualitative research

Qualitative research techniques (key informant interviews, focus group discussions) are useful and important in various ways:

– For quick assessments
– To confirm research indicators for quantitative surveys
– To triangulate survey findings
– For indepth case studies.

We apply qualitative tools to suit the design of the research, with systematic sampling and coding of data for thematic analysis.

Qualitative research techniques have been part of impact evaluations in microfinance, including for example: ‘Self Help Groups in India: Living up to their Promise” (published by Practional Action Publishing, 2009); and documentation of other development initiatives including for example a multi-country evaluation of best practices in urban livelihoods development (with case study documentation and analysis of solid waste management in Brazil, microenterprise support in Columbia, youth employment accelerator and entrepreneurship in S Africa, street vendors in Malaysia and vocational training in China. Colombia) or case studies of community watershed prorammes in north India (published as “From Indifference to Participation”, EDA).

We have partnered with Bath Social Development Research unit (UK) in applying the QUIP – the Qualitative Impact Protocol – which provides a structured methodology to explore and analyse impact in settings where there may be different programmes contributing to change, as well as other contributory factors. This is a practical and relatively quick methodology, useful in typically complex development contexts.

Contact our Vice President Shahid Perwez, shahidperwez@m-cril.com for more information.