HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

Get Complete Project Material File(s) Now! »

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

The research design and research methodology refer to the action plan and the instruments that are often used in the execution of a study (Yin, 2014:23).
The aim of this study was to formulate a strategy to integrate women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE and also to explore the way in which women and HIV/Aids issues relate to the CGE performance indicators of poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion and good governance. In response to the research questions the study aimed to develop guidelines for the improved integration of women HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE.
This research study followed a logical sequence within the legislative and policy frameworks relevant to the CGE in order to outline the implementation of the mandate and its impact on the inequalities experienced by women in South Africa. The study investigated the level of integration of women and HIV/Aids issues in the context of already existing CGE development indicators, as reported in the strategic plans and annual reports of the CGE. The study focused on exploring the perceptions of the mandate of the CGE of the commissioners, senior managers and personnel involved in implementing this mandate. The level of integration of women and HIV/Aids issues was further verified by means of focus group interviews which were conducted with women who had been the recipients of the services of the CGE and, thus, who had practical experience of the CGE.

RESEARCH DESIGN

Ontology refers to the philosophical study of the nature of beings within a specific reality and their relationships with life and living (Petasis, Karkaletsis, Paliouras, Krithara & Zavitsanos, 2011:134). The ontological assumption underpinning this study was that all human beings, including women, have the right to live a quality and free life within their own contexts of being.
Epistemology is the theory of knowing (Bernard & Graylee, 2014:6). The epistemological assumption made in this study was the firm belief that the rights of people are realised through their relationships with other people, as well as through contributory factors, including environmental, physical, social, economic and emotional factors.
Methodology refers to an action plan aimed at determining causative and contributing factors relating to the truth of a phenomenon (Cetina & Cicourel, 1994:12). Research methodology is founded within a rigorous scientific context and includes all the methods and processes used to come to evidence-based conclusions.
The research design used in this study included both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Following an extensive literature study, questionnaires were developed to explore the perceptions of all levels and categories of CGE personnel of the integration of development issues, including women and HIV/Aids, into the mandate of the CGE and the factors that influence the implementation of this mandate. Individual structured interviews were conducted to collect the requisite data.
Focus group interviews on the practical experiences of women, who had previously been the recipients of the services of the CGE, were conducted to validate the findings from the structured interviews.
The decision to use both a quantitative and a qualitative approach is based on the nature of the required data. According to Keyton (2013), a quantitative approach is a systematic, empirical investigation of observable phenomena through statistical, mathematical or computational techniques (Keyton, 2013:35). In this study, empirical evidence was gathered in order to statistically determine commissioners’ and personnel’s perceptions on the integration of development issues into the mandate of the CGE and to investigate the factors contributing to the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into this mandate. Development issues in the main are linked to the already in use CGE performance indicators of poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance. The factors contributing to the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE investigated included level of male and female personnel representation, work environment versus time spent at the CGE, budgetary allocation, personnel qualifications, commissioners and senior management role clarification, commissioners, senior management and other personnel level of involvement with CGE-related policies, and level of integration of women and HIV/Aids issues in the CGE programmes.
The researcher also selected a qualitative approach to determining the perceptions of commissioners, senior management, personnel and women who previously received the services of the CGE. The approach is exploratory in nature. This view is confirmed by Strauss
& Corbin (2008) who maintain that qualitative research is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions and motivations in order to provide insights into the problem in question (Strauss & Corbin, 2008:14). The researcher qualitatively measured the perceptions of commissioners, senior management, personnel and women who previously received services of the CGE through the analysis of factors that contribute towards the development of a strategy to optimise the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues in the mandate of the CGE.
By means of the focus group interviews conducted, the perceptions of women who had previously received the services of the CGE were also qualitatively measured in terms of their experiences and their level of satisfaction with the services they had received.
A descriptive study establishes associations between variables (Doone, 2011:54). For the purposes of this study, by studying the segregation of duties between commissioners and senior management as outlined in both the PFMA and the Commission on Gender Equality Act of 1996, the researcher determined the extent to which the decisions of the commissioners and senior management influence the programmes of the CGE, including a strategy to integrate women and HIV/Aids issues in the mandate of the CGE.
Triangulation involved measuring the outcomes of the annual strategic plans of the CGE by comparing the interview responses with the strategic plans and annual reports of the CGE for three consecutive years, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13, in order to determine their effectiveness.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The theoretical framework of the study was guided by the Human Development Index (HDI), which is an index used by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its Human Development Report (HDR). This Report examines the quality of life of people and how such quality of life impacts on development issues such as health, education and standard of living (United Nations, 2012b:20). South Africa’s 2015 UN HDR examined the intrinsic relationship between work and human development. Work, which is a broader concept than either jobs or employment, may be a means of contributing to the public good, reducing inequality, securing livelihoods, empowering individuals and liberating women from various forms of abuse and violence. Work negates poverty and provides people and women, in particular, with a sense of dignity and worth. In addition, work that involves caring for others or voluntarism builds social cohesion and strengthens bonds within families and communities (UNWomen. 2015:60).
The study observed that the CGE, in its attempt to integrate women and HIV/Aids issues into its mandate, uses indicators such as poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance. These indicators also impact on the quality of life of women and are pivotal in the advancement of the status of women. Generally speaking, there is a strong association between poverty and ill health which includes HIV/Aids (Nwaiwu, 2012:10).
In the elimination of poverty, the UNDP also links good governance with sustainable development that is based on respect for the rule of law (United Nations, 1994:2). The UNDP HDI gathers and desegregates country-specific data to demonstrate the extent to which development impacts on the lives of men, women and children (Klasen & Pieters, 2015:234). The next chapter outlines a customised, South African focused, CGE Women and HIV/Aids Development Index developed from different information sources as referenced and used as the theoretical framework for providing a perspective on the development of a strategy to optimise the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE. The construction of the South African focused Women and HIV/Aids Development Index will not follow the usual United Nations indices based on the statistical measure of change that provides inferences, but will utilise country statistics related to CGE indicators, namely, poverty; gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance. However, the development of a strategy to integrate women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE called for an additional CGE performance indicator in the form of HIV/AIDS. The customised index to be developed could be used as a planning and reporting tool by the CGE and continue to be updated over the years to guide and prioritise areas of intervention. Ultimately this could form part of a strategy to optimise the integration of HIV/Aids in the Annual Strategic Plans of the CGE. Accordingly, an analysis of CGE documents (Annual Strategic Plans, Annual Reports and Plenary/Board Meeting Minutes), providing information on the indicators listed above for the period 20010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13, will be conducted to understand the CGE’s current state of delivery on women and HIV/Aids issues.

READ  Biomechanical reasoning

STUDY POPULATION

The target population for the study consisted, in the first instance, of all the commissioners, senior management and other personnel involved in implementing the mandate of the CGE, while the target group for the focus group comprised women who had previously received services from the CGE.
The study population was used as a vehicle to explore a strategy aimed at optimising the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE. However, cognisance was taken of perceptions on factors that influenced the CGE integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the delivery of its mandate. The study population used to realise the four research objectives comprised 132 personnel (commissioners, senior managers and other personnel involved in implementing the CGE mandate in terms of the CGE Act). The CGE provides services to the general population of 54 million South Africans both through formal formations and directly to individuals.

SAMPLING:

A total of five sites in four provinces, namely, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Western Cape, and the CGE Head Office, were used as sample sites. From the above sites, a sample of two commissioners (active and expired terms of office respectively), five senior managers (one per mandate area and the CEO of the CGE) and 25 other personnel involved in implementing the mandate of the CGE (one per mandate area in the provinces and one from the head office) was drawn from the four provinces and the head office respectively. One member of staff in the four provinces selected was drawn from each of the four departments aligned with the mandates of public education and information, legal services, research, and finance. All four departments are headed by senior managers except for the office of the CEO. Commissioners and senior managers are directly responsible for the four CGE indicators of poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance.

SELECTION OF SUBJECTS

Two commissioners and five senior managers were interviewed. Other personnel involved were randomly selected from the four sample provinces of the CGE as well as head office in accordance with the CGE mandate areas of public education and information, research, legal services, and finance The researcher administered the questionnaires in order to explore the existing perceptions of the commissioners, senior management and other personnel involved in the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE through the four indicators of poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance in accordance with the legislative framework, strategic plans and annual reports.

DATA COLLECTION

Document research

Documents relevant to the functioning, monitoring and evaluation of the CGE were studied and perused in depth. These documents included strategic plans and annual reports for the three consecutive years under study 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13.
Permission to access these documents was obtained from the CGE (Annexure 1). The documents were not copied but studied in the CGE offices in order to ensure the confidentiality and protection of the CGE data.
The data collected from the interviews was electronically classified using Qlik View software
log sheets to create graphs and charts (Qlik View Software x 64, 2015). The data interpretation required working out statistical distributions, constructing diagrams and calculating simple measures such as averages, measures of dispersion, percentages, correlation coefficients and so forth. Statistical procedures were used to examine the numerical data gathered during the study (Cameron &Trevili, 2013:22).

Pilot Survey

Six interview schedules, one for commissioners, one for senior management, three for other personnel involved in implementing the mandate of the CGE in three of the four provinces and one for the focus group, were piloted before all the interview schedules were administered. The information from the piloted study assisted the researcher to refine the interview schedules where necessary. The example was the inclusion of a section that focused on direct questions on policies related to CGE work rather than attempt to elicit such responses from questions that were related to CGE roles and functions. No significant gaps in ability to gather relevant information were identified.

In-depth Interview Schedule

The purpose of the in-depth interview schedule was to collect high-level information on the CGE from commissioners and senior managers with a view to obtaining information from personnel on the extent to which women and HIV/Aids issues were integrated into the mandate of the CGE. The researcher also used a general interview schedule for the other personnel aimed at determining the factors that contribute to the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues in the mandate of the CGE.
The interviews lasted for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. The interview schedules comprised open-ended questions designed to explore the narratives of the respondents. Nonverbal cues were observed and then followed up with probing questions in order to elicit more informative responses. The strategic plans and annual reports of the CGE over a period of three financial years – 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 – were studied. The interview schedule questions were divided into questions on the perceptions of roles, contributing factors and assessment of impact of CGE mandate with regard to the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues.
Additional data was obtained from the interviews which were conducted. Interview schedule 1 was for senior management and comprised 14 sections divided into 49 questions that were, in turn, divided into six sections (A, B, C, D, E and F). Section A comprised two questions on demographic information, section B included three questions on the respondent’s level of involvement in implementing CGE-related policies, section C comprised five questions on the level of integration of HIV/Aids into the mandate of the CGE, section D consisted of one question which addressed the role of commissioners in integrating HIV/Aids into the mandate of the CGE, section E also comprised one question which focused on factors contributing to the integration of HIV/Aids into the mandate of the CGE, while section F comprised two questions on the outcome and impact assessment of the CGE effort to integrate HIV/Aids into its mandate. The senior management in finance expressed a lack of involvement on their part in implementing CGE-related policies.
Schedule 2 involved personnel other than senior management and comprised 18 sections with 38 questions which were divided into five sections (A, B, C, D and E). Section A comprised seven questions on demographic details, including educational qualifications, the province in which the respondent was based, the length of time in the employment of the CGE, the position occupied at the CGE, the respondent’s understanding of the mandate of the CGE and their level of involvement in CGE-related policies.
Section B comprised one question which focused on the respondent’s involvement with CGE-related policies such as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Commission on Gender Equality Act No 39 of 1996, Women Empowerment and Gender Empowerment and Equality Bill and the CEDAW. This question was designed to assess whether a global understanding of the CGE mandate had a bearing on the integration of HIV/Aids into the mandate of the CGE.
Section C consisted of two questions which dealt with the level of inclusion of women and HIV/Aids issues in the mandate of the CGE. It was deemed important to understand the extent to which women and HIV/Ads issues were included in the planning, monitoring and implementation processes of the CGE that involved the indicators of poverty, gender-based violence, culture, tradition and religion, and good governance. There was also a question in this section that assessed the extent to which factors such as staff skills, budget allocation, CGE culture and environment, understanding of the CGE mandate and the impact of the CGE influenced the integration of HIV/Aids issues in this mandate.
Section D comprised one question which focused on the CGE personnel’s understanding of the role of commissioners and how this understanding could either negatively or positively influence the operations of the CGE. Section E included four questions; these assessed the level of integration of women and HIV/Aids issues per indicator into the CGE strategic plans.

READ  FACTORS AFFECTING MOTHER TO CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV

Structured Interviews

Individual, structured interviews were held with commissioners, senior management and personnel other than senior management of the CGE at the selected sites in the CGE offices.
All the interviews were conducted in private offices with the door closed. Records such as reports, and management and plenary minutes, were used to promote the validity of the information provided.

FOCUS GROUP

The focus group comprised two women from Limpopo, two from Mpumalanga and four from Gauteng (two from head office and two from the Gauteng office). The participants represented a broad spectrum of CGE recipients of services, as they included academics, traditional leaders, activists and ordinary women, and were between the ages of 35 and 55. All the participants had previous experience with the CGE. Two of the participants from the Western Cape cancelled at the eleventh hour, thus resulting in the use of a teleconferencing facility. Accordingly, teleconferencing is a nominal group technique (Varga-Atkins, McIsaac, Bunyan & Fewtrell. 2011:86). The focus group discussion was followed by separate one-to-one engagements where further clarity on issues was sought. The purpose of the focus group was to weigh up the study outcomes against the practical experiences of women who had received the CGE services over a period of three years, namely, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13.
A focus group discussion was held with women who had previously received the services of the CGE in order to enrich the data collected and to contribute to the validity of the study findings. The focus group discussion with ten women who had previously received the services of the CGE was preceded by the telephonic piloting of questions with one of the participants. The outcome of this piloting assisted in improving the focus group individual interview schedule to maintain privacy relating to the specific content of the participants’ complaints. The focus group discussion was held at the CGE head office boardroom as this was deemed to be a more accessible, relaxed and familiar venue for the women compared to the other venues considered. An added advantage to the reliability and validity of the information provided by the focus group was the availability of individual files at the selected venue, the CGE. The CGE had categorically indicated that it is against their policy to allow files to be carried out of their building.
The focus group questions (Annexure 7) elicited responses about how the women felt about the service provided, for example whether the service had successfully addressed what they had presented; whether they were happy with the service provided; whether the service had integrated the issues of women and HIV/Aids; whether they would come back for more services should they be given an opportunity to do so; would they refer someone with similar complaints to the CGE and if they have any suggestions to make with regard to the services provided.
The researcher facilitated the group. The focus group discussion did not go into the details of the complaints reported to the CGE in order to maintain the confidentiality of the personal information provided to the CGE. In addition, the focus group discussion was not recorded as the women had indicated, upon being asked at the beginning of the session whether they would be comfortable with the proceedings being recorded, that they felt this could infringe upon their privacy regardless of the reassurance that the discussions were not about the content of their complaints. The focus group discussion lasted for three hours.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN RELATION TO THE SAMPLE

In terms of the conventional ethical considerations for research, the researcher was bound to uphold the rights and dignity of all the participants by ensuring that the information shared with the researcher remained confidential and was not be linked to any specific persons, The researcher took into account the importance of the representivity of the sample size in relation to the total population size as she was aware that insufficient statistical representivity may have led to inadequacies in the sample design and that such inadequacies may have created uncertainties that could impact on the reliability of the sample. The sample size was initially 27 – a fifth of the total number of CGE personnel – but ended up being 32 – almost a quarter of the total number. This increase in the sample size resulted from the researcher interviewing more personnel involved in implementing the mandate of the CGE at head office than had initially been anticipated. This was due to the existence of diverse positions on the part of these personnel members.
The respondents who took part in the interviews and the focus group were informed of the intended use of the findings of the research project. In addition, they were informed that their participation was voluntary and that they could withdraw from the study at any time should they deem it necessary to do so (see Annexure 3).

CONCLUSION

This chapter outlined the research tools which were used to gather information on the micro and macro factors that influenced the integration of women and HIV/Aids issues into the mandate of the CGE. The focus of the chapter was on the research design, action plan, and the piloting to test viability of the tool to be applied in the execution of the study that contributes to validation of the data. This involved a focus group to uncover the practical experiences of women who had previously received CGE services. The accuracy of the methodology used was clearly articulated, while the ethical considerations guaranteed the privacy and confidentiality of information provided.

Table of contents
ABSTRACT
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS
Table of contents
List of figures
List of tables
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.1. INTRODUCTION
1.2. BACKGROUND
1.3. RESEARCH SETTING
1.4. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.5. RESEARCH AIM/PURPOSE
1.6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.7. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.8. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.9. THEORETICAL/META-THEORETICAL GROUNDING
1.10. KEY CONCEPTS
1.11. RESEARCH DESIGN
1.12. STUDY POPULATION
1.13. SAMPLING
1.14. DATA COLLECTION
1.15. DATA ANALYSIS
1.16. VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF THE STUDY
1.17. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN RELATION TO THE SAMPLE
1.18. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
1.19. CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. INTRODUCTION
2.2. EQUALITY FOR WOMEN
2.3. GENDER INEQUALITIES
2.4. HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)
2.5. THE MANDATE OR FOUR MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY
2.6. COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY INDICATORS
2.7. CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
3.1. INTRODUCTION
3.2. RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
3.4. STUDY POPULATION
3.5. SAMPLING:
3.6. SELECTION OF SUBJECTS
3.7. DATA COLLECTION
3.8. FOCUS GROUP
3.9. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN RELATION TO THE SAMPLE
3.10. CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
4.1. INTRODUCTION
4.2. CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1. INTRODUCTION
5.2. RECOMMENDATIONS
CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDED STRATEGY TO OPTIMISE THE INTEGRATION OF WOMEN AND HIV/AIDS ISSUES IN THE MANDATE OF THE COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY
6.1. INTRODUCTION
6.2. MONITORING OF THE RECOMMENDED STRATEGY
6.3. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT

Related Posts