Post by Emma – Day 3 Conducting Qualitative Interviews

Today we conducted the qualitative interviews of the women working in the paper factory that’s part of the income generation projects. Before today I had regarded Qualitative research with the sort of condescension as a parent telling their child that their drawing is wonderful and that the child is so clever for producing something so interesting and unique and then throwing it in the bin as soon as said child has left the room. However today was rather the revelation for me as the amount of information that we were able to uncover about the women in such a short amount of time was almost surreal. Their willingness to share information and the ease with which they talked about their lives with us was remarkable, though perhaps due in part to their practice at answering such questions. It was extremely difficult for me to keep to the question line, as all i wanted to do was ask them more and more questions about maternal health issues and gender issues, which aren’t relevant to the study but which I find fascinating. It was an adjustment to work with a translator but I found the process to be quite smooth and relatively painless, no doubt due in large part to the practice and skill of both translator and respondent. So, while I could rave about how interesting I found this methodology in practice for hours, I shall not, merely say that I am pretty humbled for not taking it seriously enough before

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