Over the past few years there has been a growing interest in the value of qualitative social research in the South. This web-based manual is designed to contribute to this growth and to aid greater collaboration amongst qualitative researchers. It provides a wide range of materials that might be of use in intensive training programmes, allowing a critical engagement with key issues as well as the development of basic research skills.
Target: Trainers with some level of experience of teaching and carrying out qualitative social research, for example:
- academicians who may wish to train graduate students
- researchers who would like to train people working in local NGOs, who are now more commonly becoming involved in research
- people working in international organisations who may wish to train their staff members to undertake or commission qualitative research, especially in Southern contexts.
The skills developed through this approach would also be of benefit for evaluation of programmes, a task commonly undertaken by many agencies.
Focus: The manual is designed to be used in 5-8 day intensive workshops, for participants with limited practical experience of carrying out qualitative research but with some background knowledge of qualitative research theory and methods. The manual is very user-friendly for people with very little academic background in social research. It is, however, essential for the facilitator to have knowledge and experience of undertaking qualitative research: facilitators are encouraged to refer to practical examples from their own experience wherever possible.
The manual emerges from intensive training courses in the conduct of qualitative research, carried out by the RECOUP research consortium in 2007 and 2008. The manual we used for those courses has been further developed and turned into a free interactive web-based resource that includes access to:
- Detailed session plans, including suggestions for objectives, length, and processes
- PowerPoint presentations
- Visual images
- Audio and video clips
- Suggestions for further reading and links to appropriate web-pages
This web-resource is designed to allow users to adapt the materials to their own circumstances. Feedback and comments based on user experience to help to improve the manual and contribute towards developing on-line communities of qualitative researchers are encouraged.
RECOUP. Qualitative Social Research Training - A Web-Based Interactive Facilitators’ Reference Manual designed for use in the South. (2008)