Our Research, Evidence 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. Our access and trust at a community level, combined with our global perspectives, produce powerful recommendations and deliver positive and sustainable change.
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. We strive to promote innovative methodologies and work with leading thematic experts to provide cutting-edge conflict analysis, political economy analysis and stakeholder mapping. We have designed and delivered research studies in fragile environments across the globe.
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’
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 at a minimum. It is a key principle within Integrity’s ethical approach.
In conflict-affected contexts, all of our research studies are conducted in line with a conflict sensitive attitude and the principles of ‘Do No Harm’. Our engagement aims 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 and carefully coordinate with other research actors working in the same setting.
We aim to foster local partnerships through our research in order to help build research capacity. We work closely with local researchers who are accustomed to local conditions and sensitivities. Their contextual understanding helps to mitigate harmful effects and tailor research questions to be sensitive to respondents. Careful engagement strategies are designed prior to each research project to sensitise research communities to our activities and work with appropriate levels of 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 more than forty fragile and complex environments across the globe. Through learning reviews and thought leadership we continually evolve and improve our understanding of how to design and deliver research in fragile and complex 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 geographic 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 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 complex contexts.
In conflict-affected areas conducting fully representative and large-scale surveys can carry risks to research staff and respondents. To mitigate this Integrity have employed micro-surveys from which small-scale quantitative data can be derived. In specific geographies, these surveys can be conducted at regular intervals and employ quota sampling whereby individuals are selected to be representative of the overall community dynamics.
Integrity conducts statistical analysis on existing data sets to help contextualise perceptions gathered through qualitative research methods. These methods offer contextual information through which local perceptions may be further understood. 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, healthcare provision and access, the proportion of residents with an allegiance to a tribal group, acts of violence, and convictions by state and community justice systems, to name just a few.
Focus Group Discussions
Qualitative research techniques 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.
Key Informant Interviews
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.