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Background: Methodology 1 - Drawing on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) - Dr Seb Taylor

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Background: Methodology 1 - Drawing on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) - Dr Seb Taylor

Sunday, Feb 22
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To commence the Research Methodologies day Dr Sebastian Taylor will make a presentation outlining a research methodology that draws from Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). I wanted to provide some background to this as part of the orientation and briefing for this section of the agenda. Some links follow below. Please note that this is not Dr Taylor's presentation. It is background information. Please do share any questions or information requirements that you may have. Just reply to this email or having clicked the Read More link below enter your contributions into the Post New Comment block and "Send". These comments are moderated to avoid spam so you will not see your contributions immediately. The key links are:

Understanding Attitudes to Immunisation in Northern Nigeria: A Research Outline

Understanding Attitudes to Immunisation in Nigeria: Key Informant Interview

Understanding Attitudes to Immunisation in Nigeria: Household Interview

Thanks for emailing or posting your comments and questions.

Best wishes - Warren

Understanding Attitudes to Immunisation in Northern Nigeria

Hello Sebastian,

This looks like an interesting study with a potential for producing a really valuable insight into the problem of missed/low take-up of polio immunisation vacination in Northern Nigeria. I'm interested in knowing more about the participatory element of this methodology. Apart from the initial consultations with key stake holders in Abuja at the start of the programme I don't get the feeling that there is a participatory element with the actual subjects of this research. I also wonder whether an ethnographic approach would not have been useful here, considering the very nature of the research problem about uncovering at a micro-level the reasons why certain households are not participating in an immunisation scheme.

Also, as you rightly noted in your report, there is the limitation of focussing on these specific locations in order to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and losing the useful insights that a wider geographical profiling can bring to explaining the localised anomalies. Do you plan to eventually explore these wider insights?

Regards,

Ayo

Participatory? - Seb reply to Ayo

Thanks Ayo

You're right - the research was not strongly participatory. I think there is some truly powerful work to be done - probably using ethnographic methods - working with the families and communities we surveyed on something which raises such a range of cultural and political issues as mass vaccination. We didn't do that (partly I think because we hoped that this methodology could be adapted to work at a speed the programme is used to). My sense is that our research has been able to unearth some interesting dynamics at local level. But a full understanding of how to fully interpret and understand those dynamics requires, as I think you suggest, more engaged, interactive research - probably over a longer period of time.

On the wider geographical profiling - I'm not sure, to be honest. In general, I am a fan of large-scale study designs in public health at least. But I am also acutely aware of what those approaches may miss. In this case, it seemed to us that the utility of the research was to focus on a 'rump' population - in a sense defined by its small residual behaviour as atypical (considering the 90-95% of households now consistently accepting OPV in most parts of northern Nigeria) - and hence to adopt a method that deliberately eschewed the generalised in favour of the specific.

Look forward to discussions on Monday on this.

Best

Seb

QCA approach to identifying factors of participation in Polio

Hi Sebastian,

It's an interesting alternative approach to survey and quantify household, community, organisational factors of participation in Polio immunisation. I had two quick questions: 1. What are the limits on generalising study results on other States/LGAs with high/low rates of missed children, not included in the study? 2. What would you say are the benefits of using this approach versus quantitative analytical methods to identify factors of certain outcome e.g. logistic regression, discriminant analysis etc.

Looking forward to your presentation tomorrow.

Thank you, Aibek

QCA approach to identifying factors of participation in Polio

Sebastian Taylor responding to Aibek's question.

Hi Aibek, Thanks for two good questions - though it may be that we meet before you see this reply!

On 1, a principal limit is that we cannot extrapolate rates of our outcome variables (missed children, risk of OPV refusal) to other non-included areas. That said, we felt somewhat more confident suggesting that the validity of our findings on causes should be generalizable to other comparable areas.

On 2, in terms of benefits of this approach...Well, because we took a couple of core elements of QCA (primarily, purposive sampling and integration of quant/qual factors) but did not pursue QCA all the way through to the 'truth table' and Boolean algebraic analysis, what we've done shares quite a bit with more standard quantitative survey approaches. Except - and I guess this would be my answer to your question - that we selected sites to compare with one another (down to settlement level); not much of this has been done to date in this area, and allows for analysis of problems but also 'positive deviance'. And we have tried to incorporate qualitative data - in particular around respondents' perceptions of trust in external actors which we hypothesise may influence their attitudes to a programme like polio eradication - allowing ourselves a degree of interpretive latitude that is sometimes absent from more conventional study designs. Again, this is something I'm looking forward to discussing tomorrow.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Best Seb

Research Methodologies
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