Qualitative methods research
1. Developing capacity for qualitative methods research
Over the past five to ten years, qualitative research methods stemming from the social sciences have become increasingly prominent in the context of international health research. These approaches have significantly improved our understanding of the socio-economic and cultural contexts in which disease control interventions take place. The network actively supports its partners in applying qualitative methods in their specific research contexts, both through the organisation of relevant workshops as well as by offering direct assistance in implementing such methods.
Through building this kind of capacity, the network has actively contributed to various qualitative studies. One such study elaborated on the communities' understanding of hydatidosis
transmission and control in the Moroccan High Atlas, showing that knowledge about the disease and its risk factors is limited at best.
A second study which took place in Eastern Zambia set out to gauge people’s awareness of cysticercosis, whilst also gaining a better understanding of the community-based challenges and taboos which need to be taken into account when planning disease control interventions. A third study in South-Africa aimed to understand why people failed to have their dogs vaccinated in spite of regular rabies outbreaks.
Finally, a qualitative study performed in the Democratic Republic of Congo offered insights into why people choose not to have themselves screened or treated for African sleeping sickness. This last study has been published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and can be downloaded below.