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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 25 / 125





25 / 125


A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

at the analysis workshop in Nairobi, they returned to the SEA framework as a basis on which to refine their initial analysis and consider how respondents were being discriminated against, including what forms the discrimination took, who was discriminating, what gave them the power to act, and what the consequences were for the discriminated as well as for their communities. This analysis is summarised in chapter one of part two. SEA has served as a tool not only to focus on, but also to analyse the nature of discrimination against young people.

Secondly, in relation to the use of oral testimony as a research method, the quality of OT interviews improved as a result of increased attention being paid to interview skills training. In the Gulu OT workshop, researchers identified the components of a good OT interview and practised, first on each other and later on participants

in World Vision’s Mother-Daughter communicating with respondents at







the beginning, in the middle and at the end

of an interview. The experience of being interviewed, as well was salutary, and enabled team members to put themselves

as of into

interviewing, the shoes of

respondents. Having understood what OT interviews were then better able to draw up plans for the field

involve practically, researchers study, deciding what topics to

explore to plan

in the interviews, how to select respondents, and for. The importance of investing time in practice

how many interviews was demonstrated by

the consistently high quality reproduced here in full.










A third way in which this project developed the methodology further was the time and attention given to the analysis of the interview material. As described above, analysis was carried out twice over, first in country, eliciting general impressions and broad themes, and secondly in great detail at the Nairobi workshop. Here the research teams dissected the texts of the testimonies word by word, grouping extracts together in thematic clusters in order to develop an exhaustive list of issues. They then presented their findings to each other, using a variety of frameworks in which to order the material, some of which are presented in annex two in this volume. This work later formed the basis for the case studies.

Fourthly, an issue which both this project and previous projects attempted to address was the ‘chicken and egg’ question common to all qualitative research projects

  • should the researchers start with a conceptual framework and fit the data they

have collected into it? Or should they sift through the data and see what themes emerge, running the risk that the resulting analysis will bear little relation to the framework? In this project, both happened, in an organic fashion. The Nairobi analysis allowed the themes to cohere naturally, without attempting to force them

into a framework.

However, as the analysis progressed, it became increasingly

obvious that the material fitted adroitly into the social exclusion framework. As

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