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Frequent interviews This research methodology basically consists of interviewing the same respondents over a longer period of time. At least six months and ideally a full year. Each respondent is interviewed frequently, at least every two weeks.

Same research questions during entire period During each interview the same basic questions are posed. In case of financial diaries these questions are about their income, their expenditures, their savings, loans, emergencies and some other aspects that may fluctuate strongly from two-week period to the next two-week period. These repeat interviews  give us a good insight into the fluctuations of income and expenses over time of individual respondents. It helps us capture complexities and those aspects that only happen occasionally.

Building trust with respondents Interviewing the same people over a longer period of time means that a high level of trust develops between respondent and interviewer. This results in more reliable and intricate findings. The methodology used  combines the benefit of quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative data is generated about people’s financial behaviour over a longer period of time as well as qualitative understanding of the reasons for their behaviour.

Origin financial diaries The financial diaries research methodology was first developed  about ten years ago by a team of international researchers  consisting of Daryl CollinsJonathan MorduchStuart Rutherford and Orlanda Ruthven. Their work culminated in the publication “Portfolios of the Poor – How the World’s Poor Live on 2$ a day”[1].

L-IFT Methods Personal interviews assisted by CAPI (smart-phone) data collection with scriptable, off-the-shelf software to allow for continuous adaptation of additional, follow-on questions.

1. Emic Respondents influence direction of (some of) the research, they guide the researchers to the important topics. Equally, based on the first findings from research L-IFT then formulates follow-on questions to delve deeper.

2. Specials to make interviews more interesting and to capture a huge range of qualitative information, each standard, repeat interview is followed by a set of questions. around a focus theme, e.g. support mechanisms, gender, appreciation of financial service providers.

 

 next: livelihood diaries