Conducting research among peers and communities that a researcher also serves may be both daunting and rewarding. Researching peers may make the researcher feel uncomfortable raising certain questions that are sensitive or that could be construed to be testing their competencies. This paper is inclined more towards showing that it is advantageous to be an insider, whose position can facilitate collection of information that could not have been accessed, or revealed to an outsider. The paper reports on fieldwork conducted in a low-income country in Sub-Sahara Africa as part of a doctoral study with communities affected by disasters and those that work with such communities. The paper demonstrates the complexities of conducting such research and provides some insights that may be useful to insiders, outsiders or “in-betweeners” embarking on fieldwork in low-income countries and among vulnerable population struggling with manifold stresses and shocks.
Insider Researcher, Social Desirability, Malawi, Research Ethics, Peer Research, Gatekeepers, Semi-Structured Interviews
Funding for the study on which this paper is based was provided by the University of Sussex through the Chancellor's International Research Scholarship programme. Additional support from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in Malawi is acknowledged. The author would further like to thank Bruce Lilyea and Robin Cooper for their comments and guidance in revising the paper.
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Recommended APA Citation
Kita, S. M. (2017). Researching Peers and Disaster Vulnerable Communities: An Insider Perspective. The Qualitative Report, 22(10), 2600-2611. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss10/5