Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Day 4 of the workshop is now underway! The last two days were rich with good ideas. On Monday, we explored qualitative research. We covered the basics of qualitative research design, interviewing, and naturalistic observation. The 18 participants created interview protocols with the help of some templates provided by my colleague, Amy Cheung.

The participants are forming their research projects — creating research questions, thinking about sampling strategies, and exploring difficult concepts of triangulation, validity, and legitimacy in the context of different research traditions. There are some fabulous NGOs in the room, including:

  • SASANE - SASANE is a survivor-led organization, established in 2008, that means “Let’s protect ourselves”. It is under the founding principle that women survivors of human trafficking have immense potential to combat the exploitation of Nepalese women and girls and to create social change. SASANE’s mission is to end the physical and sexual exploitation of young girls in Nepal. 

  • Star Children - SC’ is a non-profit, non-governmental organization providing services with an alternative care approach for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children in Nepal. They provide  home, education, healthcare and individual care/ counseling & motivation for needy children

  • HART (Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust) - HART exists to try to redress some of the suffering endured by animals that are without power to control their lives. Neglect, cruelty and ignorance combine to make the world a hostile place for many creatures. HART rescues and treats street animals and animals around Nepal.

  • Welcome to My Yard - Welcome To My Yard is an innovative social enterprise partnering with street based Nepali children, young people and families and those at risk to provide holistic community based support, practical education, training and savings schemes. Through our creative approaches to ‘involve’, ‘inspire’ and ‘enable,’ they are creating brighter futures for those we assist and not for profit projects with a social conscience.

Each participant is either representing their organization or learning research methods concepts for their own learning and skill development. We have also talked about ways to collaborate and share data across NGOs and agencies working in Nepal.

On Monday afternoon, I joined other GVI Volunteers in visiting the SASANE safe house in Pokhara. There, the members of the Sisterhood of Survivors (SOS) Program, one of SASANE’s four programs, gave a wonderful demonstration on Nepali cooking (we made mo:mos) and hospitality. They also gave a presentation on SASANE and on the spreading problem of human trafficking.

SASANE is such an inspiring program and the SOS women did an amazing job of hosting us and teaching us how to make mo:mos. (Although my skills need some work).

On Tuesday, we left qualitative research for the world of quantitative research. We discussed correlation, causation, variables (independent and dependent), survey design, and program evaluation. Many of the participants seem most interested in quantitative research, but we’re also trying to take a mixed methods approach.

Each session has been followed by a lunch; there have also been chances to meet and talk with Nepalis in the afternoon and evening times.

Teaching for four hours has been a lot of fun, surprisingly! I find that I get into a rhythm, and there is a nice mix of workshop activities and lectures.

More soon.