Globally, qualitative researchers in the academic or non-academic fields are constantly faced with the complexity of fieldwork in conducting their research in a specific environment. Despite the understanding that researchers have of the techniques to use in their research approach, a gap remains on obtaining data in different, unique contexts of society: the cultural, economic and political. The purpose of this paper is to provide a practical guide for researchers who intend to conduct qualitative research in the politically hostile environment of Zimbabwe based on the experiences of the author during the fieldwork for a PhD study. The main focus of this paper was on understanding the ethics, gatekeeping, policies and protocols to follow in conducting qualitative research among various stakeholders, namely the government, non-governmental organisations and communities. The research techniques used were both face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions. The paper argues that Zimbabwe is a country where everything is politicised or rather assumed to be politically connected, but with structures in place for researchers to follow. This paper serves as a guide or road map for academic and non-academic researchers intending to do research in Zimbabwe.
qualitative research, political environment, politics, qualitative data, focus groups, interviews
I would like to acknowledge Professor Priscilla. B. Monyai for supervising the research process
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Recommended APA Citation
Musasa, G. (2021). Qualitative Research in the Politically Hostile Environment of Zimbabwe: A Practical Guide. The Qualitative Report, 26(1), 115-124. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4292