Chapter 3 3

Chapter 3
In this chapter, the research methodology of the study is discussed. Babbie & Mouton (2013:75) refers research methodology as the paradigm used, theoretical model and data gathering. Research methodology covers the whole process of how the research was conducted. This research will use the qualitative research approach throughout the study, therefor use of interviews, observations and desk research shaped this research. Ethical considerations and measures to provide trustworthiness are also discussed in this chapter.
Research design is defined as a general strategy for conducting a study. Brewer (2010) define research design as a framework that constitute the blue print for collection, measurement and analysis of data which intend to obtain valid objectives and accurate answers to research questions or assumptions.
3.1.1 Qualitative research design
Qualitative research refers to a research that deals with phenomena that is difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically, such as beliefs, meanings, attributes, symbols and this may involve content analysis and a detailed case study (Bricki and Green, 2012). Qualitative research relates to the understanding of some aspect of social life, and its methods which in general, generate words, rather than numbers, as data for analysis (Bricki and Green, 2012). However according to Burns & Grove (2003:356) qualitative research are inductive, holistic, emic, subjective and process oriented methods used to understand, interpret, describe and develop a theory on a phenomena or setting cited in Morse & Field (1996:1999). Qualitative research is mostly associated with words, language and experiences rather than measurements, statistics and numerical figures.
Holloway (2015:4) argues that researchers who use qualitative research adapt a person centred and holistic perspective to understand the human experience, without focusing on specific concepts. The original context of the experience is unique, and rich knowledge and insight can be generated in depth to present a lively picture of the participants’ reality and social context. Holloway (2015:5) further substantiate that qualitative research approach helps the researcher to generate an in-depth account that will present a lively picture of the research participants’ reality. In qualitative research, the researcher is required to be a good listener, non-judgmental, friendly, honest and flexible.
Characteristics of qualitative research approach:
? uses an inductive form of reasoning: develops concepts, insights and understanding from patterns in the data
? uses the emic perspective of enquiry: derives meaning from the participants’ perspective
? is ideographic: aims to understand the meaning that people attach to everyday life regards reality as subjective
? captures and discovers meaning once the researcher becomes immersed in the data
? uses concepts in the form of themes, motifs and categories
? seeks to understand phenomena
? determines observations by information-richness of settings, and modifies types of observations to enrich understanding
? presents data in the form of words, quotes from documents and transcripts
? Analyses data by extracting themes
? uses a holistic unit of analysis, concentrating on the relationships between elements, concepts and so on
? uses words as the basis for analysing rather than numerical data
? considers that the whole is always more than the sum
Extracted from (Brink ; Wood 1998:246; Burns ; Grove 2003:357)
Advantages of using qualitative research for this study
? Qualitative research is a means to understanding human emotions such as rejection, pain, caring, powerlessness, anger and effort.
? Since human emotions are difficult to quantify or have a numerical value assigned to them, qualitative research appears to be a more effective method of investigating emotional responses than quantitative research.
? Abstract thinking processes are used to develop research findings from which meaning and theoretical implications emerge.
Extracted from Brink ; Wood 1998:246; Burns ; Grove 2003:374-374.
Qualitative research approach gathers data through the multiple sources such as interviews and observations instead of single source of data (Creswell 2007:38). The researcher opted to use qualitative approach to a greater extent as it is best suited in understanding rural community’s experiences and the context in which these experiences occur in relation to the process of socio-economic development. This approach enhanced a face to face interaction between the respondents and the researcher and this helped to get to an understanding of emerging issues which were beyond the questions under study. The use of the qualitative approach enabled the researcher to get the opportunity to observe, record and interpret non-verbal communication (i.e., body language, voice intonation) as part of a respondent’s feedback, which is valuable during interviews or discussions, and during data analysis. In addition to the above, qualitative research has been used so as to reveal a target audience’s range of behaviour and the perceptions that drive it with reference to the topic under study. McNabb (2002:269) adds that in qualitative research, data is usually collected through field notes, observations and interviews with the participants, however this is supported by Bui (2014:14), who cites that this process is typically conducted in the natural settings of the research subjects or people being studied. This approach helped the author to overcome some of the constraints that can compromise the results of the study such as self-consciousness, spontaneous reactions and comments, hence assuring quality control of the study.
Population includes all elements that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a study (Burns & Grove 2003:43). For the purpose of this study, population consisted of the; community members, government officials and NGOs representatives. The community members comprised of the local leadership that is; the councillor, village heads, business people, religious leaders and external workers (teachers, nurses, and vertinary officers).
Sampling can be defined as a process used by a researcher to identify and gather people or things to be studied (Ritchie and Lewis, 2013). However scholars like Orodho and Kombo (2017) have further defined sampling as a procedure of choosing a number of people or entities from a larger population such that the sampled group who possess the elements that are representative of the features of the entire population group which can be exemplified to a process of cutting a piece from a cake and choosing methods of justifying the sample selected. Hence the need to have a small but representative sample of 30 respondents which included government departments, NGOs representatives and community members was essential to cover up the whole community.
3.3.1 Sample Size
A population selected for this study was meant to be representatives of the whole population as suggested by Kelly (2011), since it can be generalised over a huge population. For various reasons, small sizes are usually preferable since they enhance data to be fully explored and clearly analysed as compared to a large sample size (Ritchie and Lewis, 2013). Responses from the respondents can usually be similar in nature, which makes the research manageable. The sample size remained small since it was academic and limited by resources. A sample of 30 respondents was drawn from a pool of government employees, NGOs staff and community members of Emadwaleni Ward. These respondents included 15 individual community members from Emadwaleni Ward, 5 NGOs employees 3 government employees and 7 Emadwaleni ward leaders such as Councillor, village heads, business people, religious leaders and extension workers.
Gender mainstreaming was endorsed upon sampling to enable a fair representation of the community members. Data that have been collected include the types of projects implemented by NGOs in the ward, factors that affect NGO operations, implementation of the development projects and how rural communities participate in the process.
3.3.2 Purposive Sampling
Purposive sampling is a criterion based selection of participants Mason (2002). Ritchie and Lewis (2013) adds that purposive sampling enable a detailed investigation and comprehension of the central themes which the researcher wishes to investigate. Ritchie and Lewis (2013) extra wrote that these characteristics maybe socio-demographic features or may be specifically related individual experiences in an organization. Government employees were chosen basing on their areas of operation in the district and their interaction or relations with NGOs. NGO representatives were selected on the basis of their area of operation, positions held and the experience they have in relation to the research topic.

Data gathering is the precise, systematic gathering of information relevant to the research using methods such as interviews, observation, focus group discussion, narratives and case study Burns & Grove (2003:373). Polit & Hungler (2014:51) further state that the empirical phase which involves the actual collection of data, is followed by preparation for data analysis. According to Talbot (2015:472) data collection begins with the researcher deciding from where and whom data will be collected. This research acquired data from field survey and desk research using varied techniques in collecting the data as explained below.
3.4.1 Interviews
An interview is defined as a conversation between two people that has a structure and a purpose and it is designed to elicit the interviewee’s knowledge or perspective on a topic Guest et al (2013:113). Interviews are characterised by four features:
? they are conducted on one on one allowing for probing thereby enabling the researcher to focus on the content of the responses given by the interviewee
? utilize open-ended questions to ensure detailed responses,
? inductive probing which entails use of questions that are based on the interviewees response
? Allows the interview to feel more like a conversation Guest et al (2013:113).
This study utilized all these four features of interviews that are outlined above for collecting data from the representatives of the NGOs’ management, government officials and from the community members.
The researcher opted for this as one of the methods of data collection as it enables one to probe the participants and generate deeper understanding of the topic. The researcher asked questions based on the participants’ responses. Guest et al (2013:116) pose that interviews allows interviewees to give meaning to their experiences The participants described their own experiences to the researcher as they perceived them.
The interviews were conducted face to face. Face to face interviews allow for optimal communication as both verbal and non-verbal communication is noted by the researcher (Alasuutari, Bickman ; Brannen 2008:317). It allows for the researcher to tie the verbal and non-verbal communication for better understanding. The interviews with the participants were conducted English and Ndebele which are the local languages for the areas where research was conducted. The researcher personally conducted all the interviews and this was done for the following reasons:
? The sample size was manageable since it was small
? To ensure accuracy and consistency in the data collected
? The researcher is fluent in both English and Ndebele languages and therefore did not need an interpreter.
The interviews with the representatives of each NGO aimed at understanding the development approach which they use to achieve socio-economic development of rural communities. Individual interviews enabled the researcher to explore an individual’s values, understandings, experiences and perspectives of the matter under investigation. Therefore, interviews allowed the researcher to ask into complex issues, enabling to learn more about the contextual factors that govern the operations of NGOs.
The acquisition of field data involved the use of the interviews whilst the respondents were at the epicentre of being the primary sources. Field research data was extracted from the people experiencing the works of NGOs in Emadwaleni Ward, instead of the use of the available recorded stale volumes of data. Answers from respondents formed part of the field data.
The researcher engaged people from two villages of Emadwaleni ward which are Mangala and Ndiweni village. The interview guides were used to solicit information on the needs of the benefiting community of Emadwaleni, their expectations from NGOs and the relevance of the projects in their livelihoods. The in-depth interview guide was used to collect information on the origins of the projects being implemented by the NGOs from the concerned government ministries such as the Department of Social Services and Women Affairs, MRDC, Ministry of Local Governance and the civil society.