Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis of Community Based Ecotourism: Research Proposal


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Research proposal written for MSc Disaster Management & Sustainable Development (Northumbria University, 2010-11).

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Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis of Community Based Ecotourism: Research Proposal

  1. 1. Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis of Community Based Ecotourism Research Proposal W10025958 Abstract: Tourism has had huge impacts on communities and natural environments for decades, and will continue to do so. Ecotourism is one form of sustainable tourism, which is considered a more responsible way to travel. Theoretical and empirical literature is mixed however: from the types of businesses and activities under the ‘ecotourism’ umbrella; to a varied impact of ecotourism initiatives. This research seeks to explore links between community-based ecotourism, participation and conservation, through a sustainable livelihoods approach.
  2. 2. Contents Working Title..................................................................................................3 Background: Literature Review......................................................................3 Aims and Objectives......................................................................................4 Theoretical Perspective..................................................................................5 Methodology...................................................................................................6 Methods.........................................................................................................7 Timetable.....................................................................................................12 Budget and Resources................................................................................12 Ethical Considerations.................................................................................13 Risk Analysis................................................................................................15 References...................................................................................................16 Appendices Appendix A: Maps..................................................................................18 Appendix B: Draft Observation Outline...................................................19 Appendix C: Draft Interview Outline.......................................................19 Appendix D: Draft Workshop Outline......................................................20 Appendix E: Draft Consent Form (Interview)..........................................21 Figures Figure 1: Sustainable Livelihoods Approach..................................................5 Figure 2: Map of South East Asia, showing the three study sites..................8 Tables Table 1: Data................................................................................................10 Table 2: Timetable.......................................................................................12 Table 3: Budget............................................................................................12 Table 4: Risk Analysis (Researcher)............................................................15 Sources of cover page photos (left to right):;; 2
  3. 3. Working Title Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis of Community Based Ecotourism Background Ecotourism ‘Sustainable tourism’ (ST) has been gaining ground since the 1990s, as more people became aware of the negative effects of tourism on local environments and people. The World Tourism Organisation developed a definition of ST, using the Brundtland Report’s definition of sustainable development as a starting point: "Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future... leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support system" (Meyer et al. 2005:11). Ecotourism (ET) is one form of ST, defined as “environmentally responsible travel and visitation to natural areas to enjoy and appreciate nature that promotes conservation of the environment and sustains the well being of a local people” (Ngece 2002:1). Weaver & Lawton (2007) stated that ET should satisfy three criteria, namely: that attractions are predominantly nature based; the focus is on education; and the whole package should follow principles of ecological, socio-cultural and economic sustainability. They also commented on the attempts to include recreational activities such as angling and trophy hunting in ET; and attempts to include a cultural element. There has been much research showing that ET is performing as hoped; and also research stating that is difficult to assess initiatives, in terms of being financially viable, and also benefitting local communities and the environment (Simpson 2009). From an economic perspective, Wunder (2000) concluded that income obtained from ET provided a conservation incentive. Stronza & Gordillo (2008) found that tourists tend to pay a lot for their ‘eco-tours’ but tour operators may be reluctant to share the returns with the local communities. Where some community members gain more than others, social conflicts emerge. Additionally, the communities become vulnerable to the seasonality of the tourism market, which is especially bad if they become heavily dependent on it. From an ecological perspective, there are questions over whether the income and employment gained from ET will unambiguously lead to conservation. ET rarely replaces other destructive activities; and the new income can exacerbate habitat loss through more rapid resource extraction (Stronza & Gordillo 2008). There are also problems associated with ‘greenwashing’: whereby the ethics of tour operators do not conform to ET (Weaver & Lawton 2007). ET is predominantly promoted and practiced by middle class, Western white people (Fletcher 2009). It has become increasingly institutionalised, with community-based projects based in developing countries dependent on environmental organisations based in developed countries Weaver & Lawton (2007). 3
  4. 4. Stronza & Gordillo (2008) found that research seldom measures the link between participation in ownership and management of ET and conservation. Of studies that have done, they reported that Sheyvens found that ET was more likely to lead to conservation where locals have some measure of control and share equitably; Kruger performed a study of 57 projects, and found that conservation occurred in the 17% that had communities involved in decision making; and Belsky concluded that participation is linked to conservation but only if communities truly benefit from influx of tourists. Weaver & Lawton (2007) found that studies associated factors such as collaboration, partnerships and effective leadership, with success. What research is required? Stronza & Gordillo (2008) found that an increasing number of scholars have hypothesised that ET’s real connection to conservation comes through participation in ownership and management, rather than through economic benefits alone. They believe that greater attention needs to be paid to values, social relations and institutions, as opposed to just economic change, in conservation projects. They believe that weaknesses of existing local institutions are obstacles to conservation. Institutions are “social capital”, such as trust, reciprocity, common rules, norms and sanctions, and strong networks. The conditions under which ET leads to stronger or weaker local institutions remains poorly understood. Stronza & Gordillo (2008) recommended that further explanatory research be carried out on the causal mechanisms among ET benefits, the strength of local institutions and conservation. Research should examine the extent to which participatory approaches can help build social capital and thus provide local communities with the capacities to translate ET into broader and locally sustained goals of conservation and development. Aims and Objectives The main focus of this research is to use the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) to examine community-based ecotourism (CBET), with special interest in the relationship between ET participation and ownership, and conservation. Specifically, it seeks to examine the hypothesis that community participation and ownership of ET ventures is the real connection to conservation and sustainable development, rather than economic benefits. The objectives of this research are to: 1. Explore the effects that ET has on a community’s capital assets (financial, social, human, natural, physical) 2. Examine whether ET has enhanced or degraded social capital within the community 3. Examine whether ET has enhanced or degraded natural capital within the community 4. Examine links between ET, social capital and natural capital 5. Use community-based participatory research (CBPR) to identify priorities and actions for the community The purpose of the research is to explore links between ET, community participation and sustainable development, in three case study areas. The study will seek to explore the extent to which participatory approaches to ET can help build social capital. 4
  5. 5. Theoretical Perspective The SLA seeks to understand and build on people’s existing assets to develop positive livelihood outcomes by identifying practical action. It is founded “on a belief that people require a range of assets to achieve positive livelihood outcomes” (DfID 1999:5). The approach is people-centred and holistic, based on the views of those concerned (Simpson 2009). The five categories of assets are shown in Figure 1. Fig.1: Capital Assets Social Capital: networks and connections, membership of more formalise groups, and relationships of trust, reciprocity and exchanges Human Capital: skills, knowledge, ability to labour and good health Natural Capital: natural resource stocks from which resource flows and services useful for livelihoods are derived, e.g. land, water, biodiversity, etc. Physical Capital: basic infrastructure and producer goods needed to support livelihoods, e.g. affordable transport, secure shelter and buildings, adequate water and sanitation, affordable energy, and access to information Financial capital: resources including available stocks (bank deposits, cash, livestock) and regular inflows of money (wages, state transfers, remittances) Source: DfID The ‘asset pentagon’ visually represents people’s assets: the centre point being zero access to assets, and the outer perimeter representing maximum access. Different shaped pentagons can be drawn for different people, social groups or communities. Gathering information about trends incorporates a time dimension, meaning accumulation and loss of assets can be examined (DfID 1999). This exploratory study will employ a combination of deductive and inductive theory. Firstly the hypothesis and SLA inform the evidence I will look for, and the data collected will confirm or refute the hypothesis. The study seeks new insights, and will draw conclusions and generate ideas that can be fed into further development of theory related to ET and SLA (Grix 2004). Worldview The study will be approached from a critical realist (CR) perspective, which states that the social world exists independently of our knowledge of it, but it is constructed through the 5
  6. 6. interactions of individuals (Grix 2004). A pragmatic worldview will also be adopted, in which it is not necessary to question reality and the laws of nature. This worldview is real-world practice oriented; using diverse approaches to develop knowledge (Creswell 2009), and is therefore relevant to SLA which is used to examine existing situations. Methodology Answers to research questions will be acquired using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, and CBPR. The combined methods are necessary due to the complexity of SL analysis. Quantitative data can be easily categorised and counted, while qualitative data enriches the study. This also enables cross-checking and triangulation of findings, complementary analysis of results, analysis of diverse opinions, and the ability to look into perceptions and sources of relevant change and impacts (Simpson 2009; Ritchie & Lewis 2009). When examining sustainable livelihoods, not all factors of capital assets can be measured quantitatively. Even examining those that can (e.g. wages) will not necessarily prove useful. Individuals and communities can provide more valuable information through qualitative analysis: issues of group dynamics can be captured, as well as descriptions of processes (Simpson 2009). Jones (2005) differentiated between structural social capital (membership of formal organisations) and cognitive social capital (trust, solidarity, reciprocity, and membership in labour saving groups); and noted that previous studies had only considered structural capital. This study will consider both, using Krishna & Shrader’s template. CBPR is a collaborative approach that enables communities to actively participate in research. It has evolved as an alternative research paradigm (OBSSR). CBPR involves shared decision making, shared ownership, and recognition of contributions in the research (Horowitz et al. 2009). It is an important tool for improving the quality, effectiveness and sustainability of projects, providing a mechanism for communities to express feelings and share knowledge (Simpson 2009). CBPR benefits the community as well as the researcher through knowledge gained (OBSSR). Laverack & Thangphet (2007) provide an example of using CBPR to examine community capacity to manage ET in two communities in Thailand. Key to their approach was using strategic planning to initiate community actions towards sustained, locally managed ET. This approach made people more aware of their strengths and weaknesses. The information gathered was then used to improve their livelihoods through strategic planning and collective action. This study is not designed to be a rigid template: it does not seek to make generalisations between participation and conservation. However, it is a flexible approach that can be adapted to other projects and environments. Endogenous CBET initiatives and the concept of social capital are also scarce in current literature (Jones 2005), so this will add to case study material. Sampling Since qualitative research does not aim to estimate the incidence of phenomena, it requires a sampling logic where scale and statistical representation are not key considerations. Therefore ‘non-probability sampling’ is better suited, due to its ability to represent relevant characteristics: units of investigation are deliberately chosen to reflect particular features, and so the chances of selection are unknown. Purposive sampling will be employed, to 6
  7. 7. enable a detailed exploration of the central themes. This will ensure all relevant areas are covered and some diversity is included. Some use of convenience sampling has been employed with regard to finding study areas. Additionally, it can be argued that opportunistic sampling will be employed: although I can state that I intend to act upon interesting observations during fieldwork, I cannot foresee what those observations will be, or how many there will be. The deliberate nature of purposive sampling does not equate to bias, but clear objectivity must be maintained when selecting units of investigation (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). Data Analysis Quantitative data will be analysed using SPSS, and content and discourse analysis of qualitative data will be used to create tables and matrices outlining key impacts of CBET (Simpson 2009). Triangulation The study will incorporate both method and data triangulation (as shown in Table 1 on page 10). Multiple methods will be used to investigate the same phenomenon, and multiple data sources will be used in order to analyse the same phenomenon. Scale This study is small-scale and in-depth, being undertaken at three study sites. It will involve individuals and communities. Due to the scale of the study, no attempt will be made to generalise the findings to a wider population. However, it is hoped that the participatory action research methods employed will garner some useful insights on ‘best practice’ that can be shared. There is also the possibility of reproducing the research in other locations, or carrying out a longitudinal study, to observe development over time. Weaknesses Potential weaknesses exist within this study. Firstly, SLA assumes capital assets can be expanded in an incremental way, which may not be the case. It also does not pay much attention to inequalities of power, or macroeconomic trends and conflict. Lastly, it “underplays the fact that enhancing the livelihoods of one group can undermine those of another” (Serrat 2008:4). Additionally, the budget places limits on the time that can be spent at study sites and therefore the amount of data that can be collected. Observational methods also have the disadvantage that participants will know they are being observed, distorting ’reality’. However, one of the key advantages of collecting qualitative data is its flexibility, through open-ended questions and the ability to react to responses and adapt (FHI). Methods The study will employ the research methods detailed below. Table 1 summarises the data, and methods of collection and analysis. 1. Literature Review I will conduct a comprehensive literature review on tourism, ST, ET and CBET. This will provide background information that will constitute the theoretical framework for the study. 7
  8. 8. 2. Case Studies I will identify areas where CBET is taking place in order to conduct case studies. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is involved in CBET initiatives in Asia. Through contact with WWF, the following communities have been provisionally selected:    Chi Phat, Ko Khong, Cambodia Mango Bay, Phu Quoc, Vietnam Mescot Initiative, Malaysian Borneo Figure 2 shows the locations of these communities (further maps can be found in Appendix A). I will contact to ask permission to carry out research in their communities. I will then visit the study areas for two weeks to conduct the empirical research listed below. These represent CBET projects at different stages of their development, with differing levels of state and private support, understandings of ET, and activities available. As these communities are accustomed to accepting visitors, it is assumed that the period of acclimatisation will be fairly short. An ‘ice breaker’ will be initiated shortly after arrival, with the support of community leaders. This will allow me to discuss the purpose of the study and what will be asked of participants. Analysis of the ecological and socio-cultural background will be carried out, which takes into account the structure, operation, funding and stakeholders of initiatives (Simpson 2009). Fig. 2: Map of South East Asia, showing the three study sites Chi Phat, Cambodia Mango Bay, Vietnam Malaysian Borneo Source: 3. Questionnaires Following the initial meeting with the community, I will ask community members to complete questionnaires, designed to inform levels of capital assets, which can be analysed 8
  9. 9. quantitatively. Questions will be developed using Krishna & Shrader’s template, to capture both structural and cognitive levels of capital (Jones 2005). Average scores and percentages will be recorded. The questionnaire will consider household composition, income generation, food security, and number and membership of community organisations. It will consider who is perceived to receive benefits and costs from ET, at the household and community level. It will also consider cognitive factors such as cohesion, trust, reciprocity, equity, decision making, exclusion, power and conflict (Simpson 2009; Jones 2005). Participants will be asked to consider changes that have taken place over time. 4. Participant Observation The communities will be observed for 4 hours per week for 10 days. I will observe those who participate in the ET initiative and those who do not, where applicable. I will also observe community meetings and interactions with tourists. Observations will inform capital assets such as participation and networks, and also their skills in terms of operating their CBET initiative. 5. Semi-Structured Interviews Shortly after arrival I will conduct interviews with key informants, such as community leaders and entrepreneurs. These will focus on the evolution of the ET initiative, and past, present and future developments and issues. I will also choose several other community members to interview, based on participant observations. This will include people who are highly engaged and those who are not. The exact number cannot be defined, as it will depend on the size of the community, the extent of the ET initiative, and observations. I will endeavour to include women, children, older people and people with disabilities, in order to gain a thorough account as possible. These interviews will focus on changes in capital assets associated with ET. I will discuss past, present and future development and issues. Where interesting observations have been made, interviews will be conducted shortly after these observations in order to clarify and provide insight to observations. Open-ended questions will be used, which may be varied according to the audience, to include questions of relevance and meaning to each community; identified through participant observation and interviews with key informants. The general strategy will be to start with broad questions and follow up on the interviewee’s responses, to capture his or her meanings and avoid imposing my own meanings or bias. This is outlined in the interview sheet in Appendix C. 6. Participatory Workshops (CBPR) Participatory workshops will be set up in order to undertake CBPR. I will work with community leaders to develop the agenda for these workshops, but essentially it will be aimed at discussing observations and results so far, and identifying areas for improvement (see Appendix D for an outline). One participatory focus group will be conducted in each study site. It will last up to 4 hours and involve 10-15 participants. 9
  10. 10. Activities that will be undertaken include:    Asset mapping: participants will identify past and present capital assets within the community, which will enable them to utilise and build on existing resources. It will involve detailing assets and also creating drawings of maps. Priority ranking: participants will be asked to assign high, medium or low importance to various ‘priorities’. The participants’ priority hierarchy is essential (as opposed to the researcher’s), showing their values using their language and concepts (Kitzinger 1994). Pentagon configuration: participants select one of five statements they believe to be true for each asset. A pentagon is developed from results, and participants then discuss ways to improve which is fed into strategic planning (Laverack & Thangphet 2007). 7. Photographic and Video Evidence I will gather photographic material from the study area, to aid reader visualisation of the study areas. This will include examples of conservation or loss of biodiversity; community meetings; interaction; and other interesting observations. Photographs will also be taken of activities in the workshops. Photographs and videos will also be sought from the community and from tourists that have visited the area via internet searches. Table 1 summarises the data that will be collected, and the methods employed for data collection and analysis. Throughout, I will be exploring who participates in CBET, who feels positive and negative effects, what those effects are, how people feel about them, and what improvements could be made. Table 1: Summary of Data Method Analysis Data to collect Literature review Content analysis of secondary research in terms of SLA and capital assets Books Journal articles Organisational reports Case studies Situational analysis of initiatives Ecological and socio-cultural background Structure, operation, funding and stakeholders of initiatives Past, present and future developments and issues Relevant laws, statutes and policies Questionnaires Quantitative analysis Human capital: health, education, skills, time use, population composition Social capital: social structure, participation, decision making patterns, gender roles Natural capital: land and water resources, produce, wildlife, biodiversity, examples of conservation Physical capital: housing conditions, educational services, health services, transport and communications 10
  11. 11. Method Analysis Data to collect Financial capital: household income and expenditure patterns Participant observation Conversation analysis: structure and content Human capital: skills, time use Social capital: social structure, participation, decision making patterns, gender roles Natural capital: interaction with resources, examples of conservation Semi-structured interviews Content analysis: identify themes in content and context Heuristic analysis: idiosyncratic meanings Life history: single narratives and collected around common themes Human capital: health, education, skills, time use Social capital: social structure, participation, decision making patterns, gender roles Natural capital: land and water resources, produce, wildlife, biodiversity, examples of conservation Physical capital: housing conditions, educational services, health services, transport and communications Financial capital: household income and expenditure patterns Communitybased participatory research Asset and historical mapping Priority ranking Pentagon configuration Human capital: health, education, skills, time use Social capital: social structure, participation, decision making patterns, gender roles Natural capital: land and water resources, produce, wildlife, biodiversity, examples of conservation Physical capital: housing conditions, educational services, health services, transport and communications Financial capital: household income and expenditure patterns Photographic and video evidence Visual analysis of relationships and interactions Recording evidence to aid reader visualisation Human capital: skills, labour force participation, time use Social capital: membership of formal and informal groups, decision making, mutual support and reciprocity Natural capital: land and water resources, produce, wildlife, biodiversity, examples of conservation Physical capital: housing conditions, educational services, health services, transport and communications 11
  12. 12. Timetable The research will last for 4 months and will be undertaken between June and September 2011. Table 2 shows when each stage of the research will take place, and how long it will take. An additional 2 weeks ‘contingency’ have been left blank at the end, in case of any issues resulting in a delay. As no stage of the research is time-sensitive (e.g. dependent on harvest season) it is not important where delays may occur. Table 2: Timetable Week: Background research Developing methods Time with communities Collecting data Analysing data Report writing Contingency 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Budget and Resources A budget of £2,854.14 has been prepared to cover the costs of the research outlined above. Table 3 shows a breakdown, using the foreign exchange rate of US dollars to GB pounds on 1st April 2011. This includes all travel and accommodation costs, visas and insurance. It also includes recording equipment, stationery, and other equipment necessary for undertaking the research. Some funds have been kept aside as a contingency fund. This budget will be funded by the researcher. Items once I have returned home have been omitted as I would be paying for them anyway, e.g. internet connection, rent, food at home, etc. Table 3: Budget Item Unit Cost Quan. Subtotal Total Cost Flights: Manchester – Phnom Penh, Cambodia Phnom Penh – Sandakan, Malaysia Sandakan – Manchester £1258.42 £504.00 £242.00 £512.42 1 1 1 £504.00 £242.00 £512.42 Internal travel: Bus: Phnom Penh to Andoung Tuek Boat between Andoung Tuek and Chi Phat Bus: Andoung Tuek to Rach Gia Boat between Rach Gia and Phu Quoc Bus: Rach Gia to Phnom Penh Bus between Sandakan and Batu Puteh £6.52 £15.26 £11.45 £5.84 £7.21 £4.36 1 2 1 2 1 2 £6.52 £30.52 £11.45 £11.68 £7.21 £8.72 Accommodation: per night B&B Chi Phat, Cambodia £12.40 14 £173.60 £76.10 £893.62 12
  13. 13. Item Unit Cost Quan. Subtotal Total Cost Mango Bay, Vietnam Mescot Initiative, Malaysia £37.18 £14.25 14 14 Food: £5 per day incl. 2 meals and snacks £5.00 45 £225.00 Internet and phone: per week while travelling £5.00 6 £30.00 £66.78 1 £66.78 £15.26 £44.00 N/A 1 1 N/A £15.26 £44.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A £2.50 £2.00 £7.99 £9.99 £9.99 N/A 2 1 1 1 2 N/A £5.00 £2.00 £7.99 £9.99 £19.98 Insurance: ‘Infinity’ quote for 4 months worldwide £520.52 £199.50 Visas: £59.26 Cambodia Vietnam Malaysia Recording equipment: Asus laptop – already own [Audio: Samsung mobile phone – already own] [Video: Flip video recorder – already own] [Photographic: DSLR Nikon D40 – already own] Stationery: Pens and pencils Writing pads Highlighters – pack of 6 Flipchart A1 Paper for workshops (pack of 40) Sharpie Pens for workshops (pack of 12) Sticky notes for workshops (pack of 6) Contingency: in case of extended time necessary with communities, loss of spending money; other extenuating circumstances TOTAL £00.00 £44.96 £200.00 1 £200.00 £2854.14 Ethical Considerations Efforts will be taken to minimise risk to participants and study sites (physical, psychological, social, economic, and legal). A principle of ‘reciprocity’ will be adopted, to ensure that participants benefit from the research too (Creswell 2009). Communities will be made aware that:      Fraudulent practices such as of suppressing, falsifying or inventing findings will not be undertaken; Data will only be recorded and processed with permission; Data will only be used for the purposes outlined; Results will not be misused in order to advantage any group; and They will be provided with a preliminary copy of the research publication. Protecting Participants from Harm Participants will be given a clear understanding of the issues to be addressed before being asked to participate. Only questions relevant to the study will be asked. I will remain alert to signs of discomfort; and in the event of someone becoming uncomfortable, I will check their willingness to continue. After the interview, I will revisit confidentiality, to reassure the participant. I will also offer to revisit issues discussed, or move onto other topics. I will not give advice, but offer to help the participant seek support (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). 13
  14. 14. In the event of a participant disclosing information that indicates they are at risk of harm, I will encourage them to report it themselves, seek help another way, or I will offer to talk to someone on their behalf. The interview as a whole will be treated as private and confidential, so reporting observations as well as disclosures will require consent (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). The research will adopt an ‘equality’ principle, ensuring no bias is made against people because of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or age (Creswell 2009). Informed Consent Community leaders will be contacted in order to secure agreement of access to the study site in order to undertake the research (Creswell 2009). Participants will be provided with information about the purpose of the study, the researcher, how the data will be used, the subjects to be covered, and what is required of them, in terms if input and time (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). All participants will be given consent forms (Appendix E) to sign, acknowledging their rights during data collection (Creswell 2009). It will be made clear that all participation is voluntary, and participants have the right to withdraw at any time (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). Debriefing will be undertaken following interviews and workshops to ensure accuracy in data interpretation (Creswell 2009). Permission will be sought to audio-record interviews. In the case of someone refusing permission, detailed notes of responses will be made instead. Permission will be sought to record workshops on video. If denied, materials from the activities will be used to conduct data analysis. With regard to photographic evidence, permission will be sought from participants, where they are the subject of the photographs. Permission will be sought via email for photographs found through internet searches. Anonymity and Confidentiality Due to the case study nature of the research, absolute anonymity cannot be guaranteed. It is highly likely that community members will be aware of who is being interviewed and observed; and everyone at the workshop will know each other as it is community-based. Participants will be made aware of these matters (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). Confidentiality (avoiding attributing comments to people using name or role, or referring to characteristics) during interviews will be upheld. However, this becomes more complicated when considering participant observation. Where possible, confidentiality will be protected by making general comments instead; or consent will be sought from the person involved (Ritchie & Lewis 2009).Some participants may wish to be known, and they will be given the option of having their comments attributed to them, but made aware of the risks posed. In terms of data storage, audio recordings and transcripts will be coded and identifying information will be stored elsewhere. All data will be password protected. However, anonymising some forms of data, e.g. photos and videos, is not possible. Participants will be made aware of this prior to the study (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). Data archiving will be discussed prior to the study. Participants will be informed that data will be kept for the number of years in line with the School of Built & Natural Environment policy, and then destroyed (Creswell 2009). 14
  15. 15. Risk Analysis It is sensible to make arrangements to minimise risks to researchers at the beginning of the study. Risks may be within study sites, or during travel to and from them. Possible risks include: modes of transport, familiarity with the location, personal safety, and ways in which private engagements are carried out (Ritchie & Lewis 2009). Potential risks are shown in Table 4, with mitigation strategies alongside. Risks have been analysed in terms of their likelihood (1 to 5, unlikely to very likely) and their impact (1 to 5, low to high impact). Table 4: Risk Analysis (Researcher) Area of Risk Risk Factor Mitigation Personal safety, e.g. mugging, rape, etc. 3x3=9 Find out about known risks and dangers beforehand Take details of flights, accommodation, etc. and take contact numbers Take extra copies of important documents Observe any customary dress codes Ensure accommodation is secure Take padlocks to keep valuables safe Avoid walking or travelling alone in unknown places, especially at night Travel: accident/crash 2 x 5 = 10 Only use operators with good safety records Take care crossing roads Interviews 3x3=9 Find out background information about participants beforehand Ensure others know of times and locations of interviews Remain in contact before and after interviews Conduct interviews in communal areas Be alert to possible risk factors or heightened risk Respond to raised feelings with respect and empathy, and possibly move onto another topic End the interview if risk increases further 15
  16. 16. References Cambodia Community Based Ecotourism, (accessed 23/03/11) Complete Asia, Map of Cambodia and Vietnam, (accessed 23/03/11) Creswell, J. (2009) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, (3rd edition), London: Sage Department for International Development (DfID) (1999) Sustainable Livelihoods Guidance Sheet 2.1, available online at (accessed 12/03/11) Family Health International (FHI) (no year) Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide, available online at unbccfzxtaj2rvbaubzmz4f/overview1.pdf (accessed 12/03/11) Fletcher, R. (2009) Ecotourism discourse: challenging the stakeholders theory, Journal of Ecotourism, 8.3:269-285 Grix, J. (2004) The Foundations of Research, New York: Palgrave Macmillan Horowitz, C., Robinson, M. & Seifer, S. (2009) Community-Based Participatory Research From the Margin to the Mainstream, Circulation, 119:2633-2642, available online at (accessed 10/04/11) Jones, S. (2005) Community-based Ecotourism: The Significance of Social Capital, Annals of Tourism Research, 32.2:303-324 Kitzinger, J., 1994. The Methodology of Focus Groups - the Importance of Interaction between Research Participants, Sociology of Health & Illness, 16.1:103-121 Laverack, G. & Thangphet, S. (2007) Building community capacity for locally managed ecotourism in Northern Thailand, Community Development Journal, 44.2:172-185 Mango Bay Resort, (accessed 23/03/11) Mescot Initiative, (accessed 23/03/11) Meyer, M., Parkyn, M. & Roth, S. (2005) Training on Tourism: Introduction to Sustainable Tourism, Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE), Bonn Nations Online, Map of South East Asia, (accessed 23/03/11) Ngece, K. (2002) Community Based Ecotourism: What can the people of East Africa learn from success stories elsewhere?, available online at (accessed 12/03/11) NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), Community Based Participatory Research, ch/index.aspx (accessed 10/04/11) 16
  17. 17. Ritchie, J. & Lewis, J. (2009) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers, London: Sage Serrat, O. (2008) Knowledge Solutions, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Simpson, M. (2009) An integrated approach to assess the impacts of tourism on community development and sustainable livelihoods, Community Development Journal, 44.2:186-208 Stay Res Malaysia, Map of Malaysia, (accessed 23/03/11) Stronza, A. & Gordillo, J. (2008) Community Views of Ecotourism, Annals of Tourism Research, 35.2:448-468 Vietnam Hotels, Map of Mango Bay, (accessed 23/03/11) Weaver, D. & Lawton, L. (2007) Twenty years on: the state of contemporary ecotourism research, Tourism Management, 28:1168-1179 Wild Frontiers, Map of Chi Phat, (accessed 23/03/11) Wunder, S. (2000) Ecotourism and economic incentives – an empirical approach, Ecological Economics, 32:465-479 17
  18. 18. Appendices Appendix A Maps Fig. A1: Maps showing study sites in Cambodia and Vietnam Sources:; and Fig. A2: Map showing study site in Malaysian Borneo Sources: and 18
  19. 19. Appendix B Draft Observation Outline Study site: ________________________________________________________ Date: ________________________ Time: ____________ to _______________ Location/Activity: __________________________________________________ Description: e.g. physical setting, participants, accounts of events or activities, reconstruction of dialogue, etc. Reflective notes: own subjective responses to observations: speculations, feelings, problems, ideas, hunches, impressions, prejudices Appendix C Draft Interview Outline Interview reference: _______________Study site: _______________________ Date: ________________________ Time: ____________ to _______________ Location/Activity: __________________________________________________ Interview Guide Introduction Background and contextual information; Definitional questions Present circumstances (age, housing, sources and levels of income) Life history (childhood and family background, education, work history, friendships Core part of the interview: more in depth; attitudinal/evaluative/explanatory Tourism – what you know, what you think – nature, feelings Effects of tourism – past, present, future Winding down: suggestions 19
  20. 20. Appendix D Draft Workshop Outline Study site: _______________________________________________________ Date: ________________________ Time: ____________ to _______________ Location/Activity: __________________________________________________ Introduction Thanks for hospitality Findings so far Aims of discussion Asset mapping Identify past and present capital assets What has changed? What existing resources exist that can be built upon? Priority ranking Assign high, medium or low to ‘priorities’ Create hierarchy Pentagon configuration Select one of five statements for each asset Develop pentagon Discuss ways to improve Winding down 20
  21. 21. Appendix E Draft Consent Form (Interview) Researcher: Francesca Hughes Sponsoring institution: Northumbria University The purpose of the research is to explore links between ecotourism, community participation and sustainable development. Participating will allow you to share feelings, knowledge and experiences. Findings will be fed into community-based participatory research, which aims to identify areas for improvement. Participants have been selected by considering roles within the community, and through participant observation. The study aims to include diverse views within the community, and will therefore include men, women, children, and older people. Interviews will last 1-2 hours and will focus on changes in capital assets associated with ecotourism. Past, present and future development and issues will be discussed. Where interesting observations have led to the interview taking place, questions will be asked in order to explore the observation in more depth. Anonymity and confidentiality: Absolute anonymity cannot be guaranteed due to the case study nature of the research. Confidentiality will be upheld: comments made will not be attributed to you in name, role or characteristics. However, you have the right to have comments attributed to you if you wish. Audio recordings and transcripts will be coded and identifying information will be stored elsewhere. All data is password protected. You have the right to withdraw at any time. I, the participant, confirm that: I have been briefed about this research project and its purpose and agree to participate  I have discussed any requirements for anonymity or confidentiality with the researcher  I agree to being audio-taped / videotaped during the interview  Participant’s signature: _______________________________________________ Researcher’s signature: ______________________________________________ Names of people to contact with questions: Francesca Hughes [include contact details] [Supervisor – include contact details] 21