Thursday, January 12, 2023: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Maryvale A, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Tamora Callands, PhD, University of Georgia
David Okech, PhD, University of Georgia, Anna Cody, PhD, University of Georgia and Elyssa Schroeder, MSSW, University of Georgia
Social work researchers strive to make a practical impact in the communities, organizations and families we serve. Making an impact with our research means being able to produce high-quality, community-based, justice-oriented research with urgency. A key challenge for qualitative researchers is to efficiently distill large amounts of information, using a transparent and replicable process, in order to develop a deeper understanding of the topic of interest. There is a growing need for qualitative researchers to develop methods for analysis which can balance the demands of producing high quality, deeply contextual research with the need for urgency in the research process to make the research impactful. This challenge is complicated when researchers collect data from multiple participant groups utilizing a variety of qualitative methods (i.e. interviews, group discussions, ethnographic observations, photovoice). Further, there is a gap in the literature about how to efficiently analyze multi-methods, multi-source qualitative data. This workshop introduces the framework matrix approach as a practical and flexible tool for quickly producing high quality results. A framework matrix is essentially a grid where data is organized and grouped (for example by code and respondent characteristics) to facilitate analysis. The framework matrix enables a researcher to efficiently compare perspectives and experiences across or between respondent groups, while also creating an audit trail to increase trustworthiness of the findings. The approach is well suited for team-based qualitative researchers who are working with large and complex data sets. One important benefit of this approach is that it enables a researcher to analyze data quickly because it can be used for a focused analysis responding to a particular research question. In addition, it can be applied to data that has been previously coded enabling a researcher to conduct additional analysis without requiring re-coding of data. During this workshop we will introduce the framework matrix approach, discuss how the approach can be utilized as part of a comparative thematic analysis, and describe the potential benefits and challenges of using a framework approach. We will then share an example from our work in Sierra Leone, where we analyzed data collected from 71 interviews with adult survivors of child trafficking, parents of child trafficking survivors, and key informants (including child welfare professionals and NGOs) as well as 24 focus groups with community members. We will also describe how our research is currently being utilized by the government of Sierra Leone in their efforts to reduce child trafficking. Following this discussion, workshop participants will be engaged in a small group activity where they will develop a framework matrix based on an example provided by the presenters. Through this workshop participants will leave with a basic understanding of what a framework matrix is and how to use the approach in their own research. Participants will also learn about the benefits of using the approach, especially in terms of the potential for real-world impacts. The US Department of State, Office to Combat and Monitor Trafficking in Persons funded the project.
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