Qualitative Methods



Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)

Gerard Howe & Andy McKay
This paper argues for the importance of, and opportunity provided by, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, and their corresponding disciplinary perspectives, in analysing chronic or persistent poverty. Quantitative analysis to date has been based on longitudinal or panel survey data, and mostly on income measures, but this analysis only provides a partial picture of chronic poverty and in any case is not feasible in the large number of countries which do not have panel data. Qualitative analysis often stresses the diversity of experiences of poverty, and highlights some of the processes underlying it, but does not provide information on magnitudes and patterns of chronic poverty. Our understanding of chronic poverty can be considerably enriched by integrating qualitative and quantitative information and tools from the beginning. This paper illustrates this for the case of Rwanda using a good quality participatory poverty assessment in conjunction with a single round household survey, using the qualitative study in its own right and in directing the quantitative analysis to build this understanding of chronic poverty.

World Health Organization

World Health Organization
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