(20-24 December 2010)
• Research is an ORGANIZED and
SYSTEMATIC way of FINDING
ANSWERS to QUESTIONS
• SYSTEMATIC because there is a definite
set of procedures and steps which you will
follow. There are certain things in the
research process which are always done
in order to get the most accurate results.
• ORGANIZED in that there is a structure or
method in going about doing research. It
is a planned procedure, not a
spontaneous one. It is focused and limited
to a specific scope.
• FINDING ANSWERS is the end of all
research. Whether it is the answer to a
hypothesis or even a simple question,
research is successful when we find
answers. Sometimes the answer is no, but
it is still an answer.
Key Words (Continued)
• QUESTIONS are central to research. If there is
no question, then the answer is of no use.
Research is focused on relevant, useful, and
important questions. Without a question,
research has no focus, drive, or purpose.
Types of Research
Some commonly used categories are:
• Primary Research Secondary Research
• Pure Research Applied Research
• Scientific Research Social Research
• Experimental Research Evaluative Research
Primary research (also called field research) involves
the collection of data that does not already exist, which is
research to collect original data. Primary Research is
often undertaken after the researcher has gained some
insight into the issue by collecting secondary data. This
can be through numerous forms, including
questionnaires, direct observation and telephone
interviews amongst others. This information may be
collected in things like questionnaires and interviews .
Secondary research (also known as desk research)
involves the summary, collation and/or synthesis of
existing research rather than primary research, where
data is collected from, for example, research subjects or
Basic research or fundamental research (sometimes
pure research) is research carried out to increase
understanding of fundamental principles.
Many times the end results have no direct or immediate
commercial benefits: basic research can be thought of
as arising out of curiosity. However, in the long term it is
the basis for many commercial products and
Basic research is mainly carried out by universities.
• Solve specific problems help
practitioners. Market new product.
• Choose one policy over the other.
• For improving productivity
problem with machines, raw
material, persons working.
Types of applied research
- Action research: Those who are being
studied participate in research process;
research incorporates popular knowledge;
focus on power with goal of empowerment
increase awareness; tied to political action
- Impact Assessment: Estimate the likely
consequences of planned change.
- Evaluation Research: Did the program
work? Measures the effectiveness of
The Eleven Steps in a Research
• Define the topic
• Find out what is known about the topic
• Clarify concepts and their measurement
• Establish an appropriate data collection method
• Operationalize concepts and design the research/data
• Select a sample of subjects/respondents
• Consider the purpose, value and ethics of the study
• Collect the data
• Process the data
• Analyse the data
• Present the results
• Experimental technique.
• Surveys. Quantitative
• Content analysis.
• Use of existing statistics.
• Field research.
• Case study. Qualitative
• Focus group discussions
» Mixed methods/techniques
• A central idea in research.
• Variable is a concept that varies.
• Anything (concept/term) that can take
on differing or varying values. Could
• Variation can be in quantity, intensity,
amount, or type.
• Examples: Production units,
Absenteeism, Gender, Religion,
Motivation, Grade, Age.
Data Collection Methods
• Quantitative Methods: Findings can be reduced to
numerical summaries; relatively more objective and
• Qualitative Methods: Findings are expressed in words,
narrative and not numbers; more naturalistic and open,
relies on interpretation and emphasizes ‘meanings’.
• Participatory Methods: Close to qualitative research but
less formal; exclusive to development work; attempts to
correct the imbalance between researcher and subjects
of the research.
Quantitative, Qualitative &
Participatory Methods in Use
•Focus GroupFocus Group
•Interviews (Semi-Interviews (Semi-
•Field ObservationsField Observations
•Case StudiesCase Studies
•Ranking andRanking and
•Transect WalkTransect Walk
– Survey is a method of collecting data in which a
specifically defined group of individuals are asked
to answer a number of identical questions to
produce quantitative datasets, amenable to
Types of Survey
• Demographic Surveys
• Health & Nutrition Surveys
• Opinion Surveys
• KAP Surveys
• Rapid Assessment Surveys
• Depend on
– Proper Sampling
– Questions Asked/Questionnaires
– Administering Questionnaires/Interviewing
– Data Processing and Frame of Analysis
Sampling is the process of selecting units
(e.g., people, organizations) from a
population of interest so that by studying
the sample we may fairly generalize our
results back to the population from which
they were chosen.
Key Sampling Terms
• The group you wish to generalize your findings
to is called the population in your research.
• The listing of the accessible population from
which you'll draw your sample is called the
• The sample is the group of people who you
select to be in your study based on some
principles of sampling.
• A probability sampling method is any method of
sampling that utilizes some form of random selection.
With a probability sample, we know the odds or
probability that we have represented the population well.
– Simple Random Sampling, Systematic Random
Sampling, Cluster Sampling, Stratified Sampling
• Non-probability sampling does not involve random
selection; with non-probability samples, we may or may
not represent the population well.
– Convenience Sampling, Snowball Sampling, Quota
Sampling, Expert Sampling
• Depends on
– Population Size (Little difference beyond 25,000)
– Confidence Interval
– Confidence Level
– Level of variation with respect to the main variable
– Type of Survey (For opinion surveys 1000 is
• If you use a confidence interval of 4 and
47% percent of your sample picks an
answer you can be "sure" that if you had
asked the question of the entire relevant
population between 43% (47-4) and 51%
(47+4) would have picked that answer.
• Tells you how sure you can be about your
confidence interval. It is expressed as a
percentage and represents how often the true
percentage of the population who would pick an
answer lies within the confidence interval.
• The 95% confidence level means you can be
95% certain; the 99% confidence level means
you can be 99% certain.
• Most researchers use the 95% confidence
• You have been asked to develop a
questionnaire to measure the accessibility of
women and children to safe drinking water in
UC XYZ. Write down just 5 substantive
questions you’d include in your questionnaire.
Types of Questions
• Open-ended questions state a question
and leave room for the respondent to write
out or narrate an answer.
• Close-ended questions force the
respondent to select a single response
from a list.
Close-ended and Open-ended
Forms of the Same Question
• D. 18 How would you rate the level of sectarian harmony and
tolerance in your union council?
• D. 18 How would you rate the level of sectarian harmony and
tolerance in your union council?
1) Very Good 2) Good 3) Moderate
4) Poor 5) Very poor 6) Do not know
Avoid Double-Barreled Questions
• D-B question consists of two or
more questions joined together.
• Makes the answer ambiguous.
“Does this Co have pension and
health insurance benefits?”
Examples of Double-barreled and
Are you satisfied with the performance of
the district and provincial governments?
1. Yes 2. No 3. Not Sure
The chief justice of Pakistan was
unconstitutionally deposed on November
2, 2008. Do you think he should be
1. Yes 2. No 3. Do not know
Avoid Leading Questions
• LQ: That leads the respondent to
choose one response over the
other by its wording.
• Make respondents feel that all
responses are legitimate.
• “You don’t smoke, do you?” “Don’t
you think that women should be
Avoid Loaded Questions
• LQ: suggest socially desirable answer or
are emotionally charged.
• Should the city government repair all
• Question loaded with such material that
may hit the emotions of people e.g. Asking a
husband – Have you ever been beaten up by
your wife? Can be embarrassing.
Avoid Burdensome Questions
• People forget.
• Certain question may make serious
demand on respondent’s memory.
How did you feel about your
brother when you were 6 years
8. Arrange Questions
• Make the questionnaire an integrated
whole. No jumping back and forth.
• Make the opening questions simple
and interesting. Arouses respondent’s
• Funnel Technique: Moving from
broader issues to specific one.
9. Use Filter questions if Needed
• Asking question that doesn’t apply to the
subject can be irritating or bias the answer.
• Use filter question: That screens out
respondents not qualified the second
• Asking about bringing up of one’s children.
Prior to that ask if a person is married. If
yes is he/she a parent.
Advantages of Mail
• 1 Geographic Flexibility: Reach all corners
of the country/world.
• 2. Sample Accessibility: Contact those
who may inaccessible.
• 3. Save Time:
• 4. Saves Cost:
• Respondent Convenience:
• Standardized Questions
Disadvantages of Mail
• 1. Low Response Rate
• 2. Low Completion Rate
• 3. Increases Cost
• 4. Interviewer’s Absence
• 5. No Control on Question Order
• 6. Cannot use Lengthy Questionnaire
• 7. No Control Over Environment
• 8. Cannot catch the non-verbal
• 9. Non-Literates cannot Participate
Increasing Response Rate
• Cover Letter
• Money Helps
• Interesting Questions
• Preliminary Notification
• Survey Sponsorship
• Other Techniques: Questionnaire
format, facilitating the return, postage,
• Also called pre-testing: Small scale
trial run of a particular component.
• Here focus is on trial run of
• Small group selected on convenience.
• Could be 25+
• Similar to the one to be sampled.
• Administering questionnaire exactly as
planned often is not possible
(Problems in mail questionnaire).
• Usually go for personal interviewing
What aspects to be
• Reactions of Respondents
• Discovering errors in the instrument
• Checking the sampling procedure
• Staffing and activities of research team
• Evaluating the procedure for data
processing and analysis
• In-house interviewers: hired by the
• Field Interviewing Service: A research
supplier that specializes in gathering data.
Trained interviewers, and supervisors. Edit
questionnaires in the field. Certify how the
data were collected.
• Interviewers need to be healthy, outgoing,
and of pleasing appearance i.e. well
groomed and well dressed.
Role of interviewer
• The survey interview is a social
• It is a short term secondary social
interaction between two strangers with the
• Interviewer - Interviewee/respondent.
• Structured conversation – interviewer asks
prearranged questions and records
• The role of interviewer is difficult. They
obtain cooperation and build rapport, yet
Making initial contact -- Rapport
• Convince the respondent
• Asslaam-o-Alaykum. My name is ______
and I am working for National Survey Co.
We are conducting a survey concerning
“women empowerment.” I would like to get
a few of your ideas.
• Personal interviewer must carry a letter of
Asking the questions
• Ask the questions exactly as they are
• Read each question very slowly.
• Ask the question in the order in which they
are presented in questionnaire.
• Repeat questions that are misunderstood
• Information volunteered earlier than the
actual question. Record at proper place.
But do ask this question.
• Verbal prompts made by the
• Probing needed in 2 types of
• 1. When the respondent is to be
motivated to enlarge on, to clarify, or
explain the answer.
• 2. When there is rambling.
• Repetition of the question.
• An expectant pause.
• Repetition of the respondent’s reply.
• Neutral questions or comments.
Recording the responses
• Closed ended questions. Tick or circle
• Open ended:
• - Record responses during interview
• - Use the respondent’s own words.
• - Do not summarize or paraphrase.
• - Include everything that pertain to question
• - Include all your probes.
Terminating the interview
• No hasty departure. Secure information.
• Respondent’s spontaneous comments at
• Answer any question by the respondents.
• Leave by observing local customs. “Don’t
burn your bridges”
• Thank for the cooperation.
• Find a place to edit. Record information on
• FGD are a more formal
way of getting groups of
people to discuss
The purpose of FGD:
• To obtain in-depth information on concepts,
perceptions, and ideas of the group.
• More than an question-answer interaction.
• Group members discuss the topic among
Focus groups are:
• Formally constituted (organized in
• Structured groups brought together
(people from similar background,
age, sex, education, religion, or
• 6-12 persons;
• Guided by a moderator/facilitator;
• To address a specific issue (talk
freely, agree or disagree),
• Within a fixed time frame, and
• In accordance with clearly spelled
out rules of procedure.
• Selection of topic, questions to be
discussed (open ended).
• Selecting the study participants:
• - Purposive or convenience sampling.
• - Similar background. Age, sex,
• - 6-12 persons in a session.
• - Contact the participants. Invitations.
• Making physical arrangements.
2. Conducting the session:
• One of the members of the research
team should act as ‘facilitator’ for the
focus group. One should serve as
Functions of the
• Act as a coordinator, not as an expert.
• Introduce the session.
• Encourage discussion.
• Encourage involvement. Ask for
clarifications; reorienting the discussion
when it goes off the track; bringing in
reluctant participants. Deal with dominant
• Build Rapport. Observe nonverbal
Some guidelines for the facilitator:
• Observe verbal as well non-verbal
communication. What are they saying?
What does it mean to them? Empathize.
• Do not try to comment on everything that is
• Control the timings unobtrusively.
Some guidelines for the Facilitator
• Summarize the main issues at the end
• Check whether all participants agree.
• Thank the participants.
• Listen for the added comments after
meeting has closed.
Functions of the Recorder
• Keep a record of the content as well as
emotional reactions and nature of group
• Record the following:
• - Date, time, and place.
• - Names and characteristics of participants.
• - Description of group dynamics (level of
participation, presence of a dominant
participant, level of interest).
• - Opinions of the participants, as far as
possible in their own words, especially the
• - Emotional aspects (reluctance, strong
feelings attached to certain opinions)
• - Vocabulary used.
Functions of Recorder (Cont.)
Functions of Recorder (Cont.)
• Assist the facilitator by drawing his/her
attention to missed topics or missed
comments from the participants.
• Help the facilitator resolve the conflict
• Make sure a copy of the list of topics
and key probe questions is available
and referred to during the FGD.
Duration of FGD
• Between one hour to one hour and a
3. Analysis of Results
• After each FGD the facilitator and recorder
meet to review and evaluate the discussion.
• The full report is prepared using the
participants own words, listing the key
statements, ideas and attitudes.
• Additional questions are formulated if needed.
• Answers of different sub-groups are compared.
• The findings must be recorded in a coherent
• The most useful quotations should be selected.
4. Report Writing
• Start with a description of the selection and
composition of the group and participants,
and a commentary on the group process.
• Present your findings, following your list of
topics and guided by the objectives of FGD.
• Include questions whenever possible,
particularly the key statements.
• Results cannot usually be used for
• Participants often agree with
responses from fellow members (for
different reasons). Researcher to be
cautious when interpreting the results.
• The moderator may influence the
• FGDs have limited value in exploring
complex beliefs of individuals.
• FGDs can paint a picture of what is
socially acceptable in a community
rather than what is actually occurring
or believed. (real and ideal problems)