Methodology/ Research Protocol

Data Collection: Quantitative

Quantitative data collection will be done through means of a 35 question survey. The survey is broken into 5 sections: demographics, loans, savings, remittances, and government programs. Surveys will be conducted by a pair of researchers; one person asking the questions and the second recording answers on the answer sheet, as well as noting contextual observations. Surveys will be conducted in Spanish, utilizing a Quechua to Spanish interpreter when necessary. Surveying will take place in several rural communities, with a target of 200 surveys conducted over at least 10 communities. By surveying a wide range of participants, the ability to compare responses to gauge accuracy and truthfulness is achieved. To insure randomization, a coin will be flipped at each household encountered, which will dictate whether or not to attempt a survey at that house. To insure anonymity, no identifying information will be recorded on the survey, answer sheet, or notes. There will be no way to link surveys with specific participants.

Data Collection: Qualitative

Qualitative information will be collected through semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews, and focus groups. The interviews and focus groups will be conducted by a pair of researchers; one person asking questions and the other taking notes. Interviews and focus groups will be conducted in Spanish, utilizing a Quechua to Spanish interpreter when necessary. Following each interview or focus group, the team will debrief and memo any relevant information that emerged. Interviews and focus groups will be recorded and transcribed, with verbal consent obtained from participants prior to recording. No identifying information linking participants with their responses will be recorded, and there will be no list of who has participated in focus groups or semi-structured interviews (key informant interviewees may have their title or position recorded in order to allow researchers to follow up with additional questions if needed). Questions for this phase of data collection will follow up on information that emerges in the surveys, with a broad focus on perceptions of formal and informal financial services, and levels of trust in various service providers. In order for information obtained from the surveys to inform interview and focus group topics, the qualitative portion of data collection will commence at least one week after surveys have begun.

For the semi-structured interviews participants will be selected at random, with the intent of learning the perspectives of a representative sample of rural inhabitants. Interviews will be conducted in several different communities, with a target of 50 semi-structured interviews. Similar to surveys, a coin will be flipped at each household to determine whether or not to include it in the sample. Once interviews begin, a second coin will be flipped to govern whether to proceed with an interview or a survey at each home. However, in the event that a knowledgeable, forthcoming participant is encountered during a survey, the researchers will proceed to interview them following the completion of the survey, so as not to lose valuable information.

Key informant interviews will be scheduled with local NGOs, government officials, and bank officials. Interviews with people who work for NGO’s will yield information about current and past efforts to expand financial inclusion, challenges they have faced  working in the communities, and past research that has been conducted in the area. Government workers have knowledge about challenges in providing social programs in the rural communities, and any attempts that have been made to introduce formal banking services in these areas. Bank representatives can answer specific questions about policies, rates, and credit/ savings behavior of local populations. These informants will be a valuable source for insight about local financial culture and practices. The number of key informant interviews conducted will depend on information requirements and level of triangulation necessary to confirm knowledge obtained.

Focus groups will be conducted when and where it is deemed an appropriate and valuable source of information, based on the presence of savings groups or other community collectives, or when it is apparent that this is the best method for reaching a wider range of participants. Focus groups will be organized in advance, with participants formally invited. Refreshments will be provided as an incentive to participate. The purpose of this data gathering method is to gain a wider range of perspectives, and to provide a format that may be more comfortable for some participants to share their views.

There are concerns that personal financial information may prove to be a sensitive topic for some participants. Local informants have expressed doubt that this will affect results. However, because greater rapport with subjects is built through the interview and focus group process, qualitative lines of inquiry will provide the opportunity to confirm the information received through surveys. Triangulation of information through several data collection methods (surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and key informant interviews) will be used to insure the accuracy and improve the validity of information received.

Data Analysis

Following the data collection phase, this data set will be processed using R to analyze statistical models. The qualitative data will be transcribed for use with RQDA, for an analytics driven exploration of interviews and focus group data. An initial, high level analysis of qualitative data will be conducted to identify trends and key information. These first pass observations will inform quantitative analysis by suggesting potentially valuable statistical tests to run. In the data analysis phase, consideration will be given to the sample size from each community in relation to the size of the population. This is to insure that greater weight is not given to communities where a larger percentage of the population participates.

Dissemination

The findings from this research and subsequent analysis will be made available on this website for interested parties, and easily accessible through a basic internet search. At the culmination of the research, a report will be produced of the findings and conclusions, which will also be sent to interested local NGOs in the Sacred Valley. A form of this report will be translated and made available to the local government as well. The data set itself will not be released, but the variables used and results of analysis will be included in all reports.

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