Our Research and Analysis Services
Research and analysis is about providing our clients with the evidence they need to make better-informed and more confident decisions. Our sensitively conducted research reveals local perceptions and realities in hard to access contexts and communities.
Working through a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, we adapt to the complexity of local environments. Our methodological approaches are designed to translate complexity into actionable recommendations. We ensure the voices of diverse stakeholders inform all our work, using the optimal mix of approaches: interviews, focus groups, direct observation, participatory research and perception surveys.
Our reports, policy briefs and assessments provide clients with action-focused findings and recommendations. As an organisation we strive to promote innovative methodologies and we work with leading thematic experts to provide “thought leadership” in the areas of conflict analysis, political economy analysis and stakeholder mapping. We have designed and delivered research studies in fragile environments throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
We work with our clients to deliver:
- Conflict analysis
- Governance assessments
- Civil society mapping
- Conflict and early warning systems
- Political Economy Analysis
- Capacity building in research skills
- Field-based and remote data collection
‘Do No Harm’ / Conflict Sensitivity
The principle of ‘non-maleficence’ (‘Do No Harm’) was a fundamental precept of medical ethics (e.g. the Hippocratic Oath) reminding physicians that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. Research and humanitarian communities worldwide later adopted the principle. Peace researchers have argued that the ethical approach of research should move beyond simply ‘doing no harm’ to ‘doing good’. The ethos behind ‘Do No Harm’ shapes how Integrity performs its research operations and other activities on its service lines. It is a key principle within Integrity’s ethical approach.
All of our research studies are conducted in line with a conflict sensitive attitude and principles of ‘Do No Harm’ principles. Our research engagement will aim to mitigate against any potential deleterious effects that may serve to enhance tensions between and within communities. To achieve this end we conduct ‘Do No Harm’ training with our staff members.
Integrity aim to foster local partnerships through our research in conflict affected states in order that we help build research capacity in these fragile countries. We rely upon local researchers who are accustomed to local conditions and sensitivities. Their local contextual understanding helps to mitigate any harmful effects of research questions. Careful engagement strategies are designed prior to each research project in order to sensitise research communities to our activities and to work with transparency.
We write reports, policy briefs and assessments that provide clients with action-based findings and recommendations. We have designed and delivered research studies in fragile environments throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East and we are continually evolving our understanding of how to design research in fragile and conflict-affected environments.
In conflict-affected countries, opinion polling can be used to identify trends in sectors as diverse as security, government, development and the media. It can be applied to identify differences in perceptions between geographical or demographic subsets of the populace (for example gender, age, ethnicity, income and occupation). More broadly, it is employed to create ‘baseline’ data on population perceptions as well as to establish and demonstrate trends as those perceptions change. We present our clients with statistically valid findings, minimising the impact of challenges associated with representative sampling in conflict-affected areas.
In conflict affected areas conducting fully representative and large-scale surveys carries risks to research staff and respondents. In order to mitigate these risks Integrity have employed micro-surveys from which small scale quantitative data can be derived. These surveys are regularly conducted in specific geographies often employing quota sampling whereby individuals are selected to be representative of the overall community dynamics.
Integrity uses data sets from which statistical analysis can help underpin perceptions collected through qualitative components. These components offer contextual information through which local perceptions may be further understood. Metrics we analyse will include GDP per capita, education levels, healthcare provision and access statistics and other health related indicators. Whilst this component does not provide direct insight into perceptions per se, it can offer contextual information through which these perceptions may be further understood. Indicators may include, GDP per capita, education levels, the proportion of residents with an allegiance to a tribal group, acts of violence, convictions by state and community justice systems, etc.
Interviews: (Key Informant Interview and Focus Group Discussions)
Qualitative research techniques such as focus groups offer greater contextual detail and insights into social dynamics and atmospherics than quantitative studies. Focus groups are informal conversations between individuals who are led through a range of pre-selected themes. Such forums allow participants to speak amongst themselves, allowing concerns to rise to the surface.
Interviews are a powerful qualitative research tool, particularly when used in conjunction with focus groups and participant observations as they reveal greater nuances than other research methods. As with focus groups, the content of interviews is adapted to meet the precise requirements of the client. Interviews are typically conducted with individuals of high social standing; leaders such as political, tribal or religious figures; teachers, and journalists but can be used effectively to gain an understanding of the concerns of citizens from all levels of society. Interviews can be structured with closed questions for direct comparison with other responses, or be semi-structured with open-ended questions, allowing for insightful elaborations.