In order to achieve the objectives of assigned tasks, we review relevant documents, for examples, terms of reference, logical frameworks, project proposals and available reports. We then adopt a multi-phase participatory approach.  This approach calls for using both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as primary and secondary sources. It covers discussions with beneficiaries; administering of questionnaire; focus group discussions which target institutions and other stakeholders (Government officials, NGOs, INGOs, Local Government Officials, community leaders, Market Officials et cetera). Direct observations, Semi Structured Interviews, key informants / specialized interviews and informal conversation also form part of our approaches. Most often, we triangulate our findings. In a nutshell, we most often use six methodological approaches, namely

  1. Literature review
  2. Development of data collection tools
  3. Training of field workers/data collectors
  4. Gathering of primary and secondary data (field work)
  5. Analyzing the data
  6. Writing the report and presentation of findings; if required, validation

Our methodology always and vividly addresses:

       I.        Data collection instruments, protocols and procedures:

  1.    Sampling procedures for both qualitative and quantitative data
  2.   Procedures for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data
  3.  Plans for data entry, processing and quality control
  4. Format and system for data entry and strategy for editing/cleaning the data plus backup
  5. Training materials for data collectors and data entrants:
  6. Proposed time frame / Work Plan
  7. Ethical Consideration
  8. Potential constraints and how it will be overcome:
  9. Selection  / assignment of research assistants, data collectors and data entry clerks
  10. Overseeing data collection process

Most often, we used the RAOSOFT Sample Size Calculator Standard Table (The Research Field Guide) or the Systematic Random Sampling (SRS) method to select our sample size. To analyze our quantitative findings, we use either excels, SPSS, CSPros or PDA. With these procedures and software, we ensure a confidence interval ranging from 95% to 99%.