The historical context is also a factor that is considered in the composition of the sub-question. The research problem relates to a specific location, namely rural Rwanda, a place with a history of deep ethnic conflict and genocide which is an important factor which may still impact the responses of adolescent girls. Ethical Issues In conducting a focus-group for research it is often seen as an exercise to get people to buy into new ideas before they are implemented. Participants are normally aware that they are involved in a process that intends to stimulate so change in attitude or their behaviour.
Participants come to the group believing that they will learn something, especially is the focus group is used as part of a consultation process. It is important to consider the quality of the learning experience that is provided to the participants. Some participants consider the sharing experience with others as a rewarding and therapeutic process, while others may gain for the content and have a greater understanding of a new initiative or policy.
It is important for the researcher to be ready to offer advice, contact details with the participants in case of further questions arising in future. A few additional points to consider when addressing common ethical issues are the following:Put the interviewee at ease; Assure confidentiality; Establish a rapport with participants; Explain the interview format and the sequence of topics; If necessary make notes and explain; Provide supplementary exploration and prompts; Avoid bias; Avoid piling questions on top of each other to avoid confusion; Keep pace up and stick to a time schedule, Be ready with further adviceQUALITATIVE RESEARCH TOOLThe tool to be used is focus groups.
The reason for the use of this tool is that focus groups involve organised discussion with a selected group of individuals to obtain information about their views or expectations on a specific topic.Focus group interviews are suitable for the purposes of obtaining several perspectives about the same group of people. The benefit of focus group research includes gaining insights into peoples shared understanding of everyday life and the ways in which individuals are influenced by other in a group situation Problems arise when trying to identify individual views from group views, as well as the practical arrangements for conducting focus groups.The role for a good moderator is important, with good interpersonal skills and leadership ability.The main purpose of a focus group is to draw upon the respondent attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions in way that will not be feasible if using any other methods, such as observations, one-on-one interviews or questionnaire surveys. Attitudes, feelings and beliefs may be partially independent of a group or its social setting but more likely to be revealed via the social gathering and the interaction of being in a social group.When comparing an individual interview which aims at obtaining an individual response, including attitudes, beliefs and feelings, focus groups elicit a multiplicity of views and emotional responses in a group setting. In comparison with an observation exercise, a focus group allows the researcher to obtain a larger volume of information in a shorter period of time. While the observation method is dependent on the unfolding of events, a focus group is structured where the researcher is guided by interview questions to obtain responses. Focus groups are organised events unlike observation exercises which occur naturally, and focus groups are particularly helpful in situations where power differences exist between participants, professionals or decision-makers, where the everyday language and culture of the a particular group is of interest, and when wants to determine the degree of consensus on a given subject or topic (Morgan and Kreuger 1993). Questions to use in a sample of a focus group would be the followingGender; Ethnicity; Age group; Highest level of education; Income bracket; Area of domicileANALYSIS OF DATA It is import to provide as much detail as possible on the sample population without revealing participant identities. In addition, it must be shown how they were accessed in order to show that members of the target population had equally good chances of hearing about the work and participating in it. In qualitative research it is always important to demonstrate reflexivity as an interviewer, that is, to consider how the viewpoint of the interviewer on the topic in relation to the participant might have influenced the manner in which the discussion was moderated. It is always a worthwhile exercise to note any measures taken to minimize interviewer effects. It is important to ensure that the data is reliable and that an independent researcher is used to cross-check codes, to assess the levels of agreement/disagreements between participants and the frequency of change among respondents. The focus-group data analysis will include a summary of the most important themes, the most noteworthy quotes and the unexpected findings. The analysis of the focus group aims to achieve the similar aims as many one-on-one interview analyses but with the exception that in the process of trying to arrive at a group consensus in the session, some recorded comments may change in their levels of importance, as they may be made by one individual and then refuted by others. In extracting themes from the focus group it will be important to take into account the extensiveness, intensity and specificity of comments made, and more emphasis should be placed on such quotes. It may also be useful to include the most noteworthy quotes in the compilation of the report to give readers a sense of the impact of the statements that were made in support of particular themes. In the beginning of the exercise notes were made of the expected outcomes of the research and in analysing the data the notes must be revisited and examined to consider whether unexpected findings were made. The data would be recorded and transcribed by using a qualitative data-management package like Atlas*ti or Nu*Dist. The use of relevant software packages will ease the process of assigning codes to each emerging theme. Codes can be merged using such software and relationships can be established between the respective themes. A process of picking out themes and assigning each one a reference number is known as axial coding. If codes have been assigned to sentences, or to a collection of sentences, it is possible to calculate the frequency of codes, or themes, both across and within groups or individuals. Code frequency supplies researcher with an objective measure of the prevalence of an attitude between and within groups. However, qualitative analysis is necessarily subjective, and to ensure objectivity a reliability check should be employed before making claim about attitude prevalence. Two good indicators of the reliability of focus group data are the extent to which participants agreed or disagreed on issues and frequency of participant opinion shift during the discussion.