This working paper sets out the fieldwork manual that was utilised to conduct research in LADDER villages in Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Kenya during 2001. The manual was applied in 38 villages and to roughly 1,200 households across the four countries. The manual seeks to combine qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate rural livelihoods, and to establish the social and institutional context within which livelihood strategies unfold. This is not the entire methodology for the LADDER research project, which also comprises work on micro-macro links and engagement with key policy processes in each country.
It is perhaps unusual to make plain the field methods of a project in this way. More often the results of household or village level investigations are presented, but the process by which these results were obtained remains undocumented. It is hoped that this manual may prove useful to others undertaking similar work, since a lot of reinventing of the wheel tends to happen in devising fieldwork of this sort. Section A of the manual deals with the organisation of the research, including selection of villages and households. Section B is concerned with secondary data, key informants and group methods of enquiry, and especially with eliciting the contextual character of rural livelihoods. Section C provides the basic set of sample survey forms that were administered to households. This set excludes a few components that were investigated at household level in just a few of the case-study villages.
LADDER Research Team. Methods Manual for Fieldwork. (2001) 35 pp. [LADDER Working Paper No.2]