CHAPTER 2 Research design and methods
In chapter 1, an overview of the study including problem statement, the purpose of the study, research objectives and questions, paradigmatic perspective, research methodology were presented. In this chapter, the research design and methods including measures to ensure trustworthiness during data collection, data analysis and ethical considerations are discussed in detail.
The study was conducted in three phases. Each phase addressed a research objective as illustrated in table 1.1. Phase 1 data were gathered through unstructured in-depth interviews with grandparents caring for OVC. In phase 2 data was collected using semi-structured interviews with managers of organizations that provide support to OVC in the informal settlements. In phase 3 guidelines for the care and support of OVC were developed.
Several sampling techniques were used to select the participants for the study. First a non-probability sampling approach using snowball sampling technique was used to select the grandparents who responded to the questions on the needs of OVC. These grandparents were also invited to attend a meeting where data from phases 1 and 2 were further discussed to allow them to make a contribution to the guidelines that were developed by the researcher on care and support of OVC. A probability sampling approach using simple random sampling technique was used next to select the organizations that provide support for OVC. The managers of these organizations were purposively sampled to respond to questions on the nature of the existing structures and type of support they provided for OVC in the informal settlements of Mbabane, Swaziland. Similarly the managers were invited to a separate meeting from that of grandparents to share and validate the data from phases 1 and 2 as well as making a contribution in the development of guidelines on care and support of OVC that were developed by the researcher from the findings of phases 1 and 2 of the study.
The research design is an overall plan of the research including methods and procedures for collecting, analyzing and interpreting data which needs to be followed in order to obtain solutions to the problem studied (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias 1996:597; Holloway 2005:290). Smith and Hunt (1997:67) are of the opinion that a study must be carefully planned in order to ensure that it is conducted in a systematic and effective way. Burns and Grove (2005:231) emphasize that a research design maximizes control over factors that could interfere with validity or trustworthiness of the findings.
According to Babbie and Mouton (2001:73), it is essential for the researcher to formulate the research problem clearly before making a choice of a research design that will best answer the research questions. Leedy and Ormrod (2005:144) further state that the nature of the problem and data (whether narrative or numerical) will determine the research design and methods. Regardless of the nature of the research design, the key issue is that it should assist to answer the research question (Batavia 2001:132). Research should fulfil six functions, which are describing, comparing, defining, explaining, evaluating and designing (Oost 2003:33). The research design chosen for this study was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature. Given that little is known about the needs of OVC and the nature of the existing structures that support these children in the informal settlements in Mbabane, Swaziland, this design was chosen for its potential to explain, describe and define the problem.
The needs and the nature of support structures were described in detail to get insight and understanding of the phenomenon. The grandparents, who are the full custodians of the children after the death of the children’s parents, were able to share with the researcher the information on the real needs of the OVC. The managers shared information on the nature of the support that their organizations provided for OVC.
A qualitative research design is used to explore the depth and complexity inherent in a phenomenon in a flexible and holistic manner (Polit & Beck 2008:3). In this study a qualitative research design was used to describe the needs and support of OVC in a systematic and orderly manner. The emphasis was on the needs and support for these children. These were presented in the form of rich narratives. The information was gathered from the grandparents and the managers of organizations since these were the custodian of the OVC.
In qualitative research, the researcher as a person interacts with the participants and is involved in the collection of data. The qualitative research design was also chosen for its potential to embrace a whole being and focus on human experience in natural settings as it is believed that human attributes evolve from life experiences (Streubert Speziale & Carpenter 2003:16). The following assumptions as stated by Polit and Beck (2008:14) and Streubert Speziale and Carpenter (2003:16), were applied to this study in the manner stipulated below:
- Multiplicity of reality. According to the authors reality presents in many forms. The perception of the needs and type of support required by OVC will differ, and will change with time and place. In this study 12 grandparents and 7 managers were interviewed to provide full understanding of the diverse and multiple needs of OVC.
- Meaning of phenomena needs a context. What we know has a meaning only within a given situation or context. In this study the needs of OVC were contextualized within the informal settlements of Mbabane, Swaziland.
- Understanding of phenomena cannot be manipulated. Qualitative research is used where the purpose is to study phenomena as they unfold in the real world situation without manipulation. This study was conducted in the informal settlements, using participants who interact daily with the OVC.
- Qualitative research is more commonly used to inductively explore phenomena and provide thick/detailed description of events from in-depth interviews conducted with participants (Terre Blanche, Durrheim & Painter 2006:48). In-depth interviews were used in this study.
Babbie and Mouton (2001:279) state that qualitative research design:
- Provides a detailed engagement/encounter with the participants of the study. The researcher in this study had a prolonged engagement with the participants, thus immersing herself in the data collected.
- Ensures that a small number of cases are studied for better engagement. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 grandparents and 7 managers of organizations that support OVC.
- Ensures openness to multiple sources of data. Data was collected from grandparents, field notes, documents from organizations and government ministries and managers of organizations which support OVC.
- Ensures that data is reported in a literary style, rich with the participants’ commentaries. In this study the findings were supported with meaning units.
According to Bless, Higson-Smith and Kagee (2006:47), the purpose of exploratory studies is to gain insight into a situation, phenomenon, community or person. This design is employed where new knowledge, new insights, understanding and meaning of a new phenomenon is required. Furthermore, Brink et al (2006:113), Polit and Beck (2008:20) and Rubin and Babbie (2001:123) explain that exploratory research investigates the full nature of a phenomenon and how it manifests to depict other factors which it is related to. In this instance, little was known about the full nature of the needs and support given to OVC being cared for by grandparents in the informal settlements of Mbabane, Swaziland. There was a need to gain knowledge, insight and understanding of the needs of OVC, how they manifest themselves as well as understanding the factors relating to the available support structures for the said children. This information was necessary for the development of guidelines that could be used to provide the support needed by the OVC being cared for by grandparents and living in informal settlements in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The design of this study was descriptive as it sought to provide accurate portrayal of the needs and support structures for the OVC in the informal settlements of Mbabane, Swaziland. According to Batavia (2001:36), descriptive designs are used to describe or explain situations, characteristics, behaviours, attitudes and even movement patterns. This idea is supported by Cozby (2004:7) who states that accurate descriptions are provided following careful observation of events. The design focuses on the situation in a given population. The interview guides in this study are presented in annexure D. Mouton (1996:102) further explained that descriptive designs are used where factual knowledge is required and provides truthful description of the phenomena in the world. The needs and support for OVC were explored and then described. The in-depth description of the needs and support was substantiated by literature control which revealed how the study fitted into the existing body of knowledge. The descriptive design was selected because the needs and support of OVC can be best and effectively described in words rather than in numbers.
Chapter 1 Orientation of the study
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.4 RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
1.5 AIM OF THE STUDY
1.6 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
1.8 RESEARCH QUESTIONSµ
1.9 THE PARADIGMATIC PERSPECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1.10 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
1.11 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD
1.12 MEASURES TO ENSURE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF DATA COLLECTED
1.13 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
1.14 OUTLINE OF THE THESIS.
Chapter 2 Research design and methods
2.2 RESEARCH DESIGN.
2.3 THE STUDY SETTING
2.4 RESEARCH METHODS
2.5 The interview procedure
2.6 TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE STUDY
2.7 ETHICAL CONSIDERATION.
Chapter 3 Data analysis, presentation and discussion of phase 1 findings
3.2 DATA ANALYSIS
3.3 FINDINGS OF PHASE 1
Chapter 4 Data analysis, presentation and discussion of phase 2 findings
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS
4.3 FINDINGS OF PHASE 2
4.4 THEMES ON THE NATURE OF SUPPORT PROVIDED BY ORGANIZATIONS
Chapter 5 A conclusive summary of phases 1 and 2 findings using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
5.2 DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF GRANDPARENTS.
5.3 NATURE OF SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS
5.4 APPLICATION OF MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS THEORY TO THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
Chapter 6 Development of guidelines for support of orphaned and vulnerable children cared for by their grandparents in the informal settlements of Swaziland (phase 3)
6.2 PROCESS OF DEVELOPING GUIDELINES
6.3 FORMULATION OF GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT OF ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Chapter 7 Conclusions, recommendations and limitations
7.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
7.3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS.
7.4 CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY
7.5 RELATING THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY TO EXISTING THEORY
7.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY.
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