Liz Gill-Atkinson is a Research Assistant on the W-DARE program based at the University of Melbourne. She participated in the qualitative data analysis workshop and is undertaking a PhD which will explore the effect of participation in the W-DARE program on researchers (women with disability, academics and service providers).
Last week in Manila, qualitative and quantitative data collectors from Quezon City and Ligao City, (who include representatives of WOWLEAP, PARE and Likhaan) and local and international project staff attended participatory data analysis workshops. The purpose of the two workshops (one with the quantitative data collection team, and the other with the qualitative researchers) was to reflect on data collection processes, begin data analysis and start thinking about interventions to address barriers to SRH services for women with disability in Quezon City and Ligao City.
The two-day workshop with the quantitative team explored researcher’s reflections on conducting the Rapid Assessment of Disability (RAD) questionnaire, including challenges faced and lessons learnt. Researchers provided feedback on, and discussed the data collected to date and provided advice on the framework for quantitative data analysis. Implementing the RAD questionnaire had been a learning opportunity for many researchers, in relation to building their capacity around the research processes (including sampling, recruitment, conducting the survey and completing the forms) and learning about the lives of, and issues faced by, members of local communities including women with disability.
For women with disability conducting the questionnaire, learning about the lives of other women with similar experiences and demonstrating their capacity as researchers was significant. For many researchers without disability, W-DARE is their first experience of working alongside persons with disability, which positively influenced understandings of disability inclusive research processes. Researchers also discussed the categorisation of data for data analysis, providing invaluable ‘ground truth’ context and interpretation of the early research findings.
The purpose of the three-day qualitative workshop was to collectively develop coding frameworks for qualitative data analysis and to explore participants’ experiences of conducting in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Researchers worked individually, in small groups and collectively to develop, test and refine coding frameworks to be used for women and girls with disability, service providers and carers/family of women with disability.
In reflecting on their involvement in the W-DARE project, qualitative researchers also reported increased capacity related to the research processes (in particular seeking informed consent, the plain language statements, audio recording the interview etc.). Researchers’ experiences were also influenced by their profession, expertise, previous research experience and disability. Qualitative and quantitative research groups include disability activists from DPOs, feminist and social researchers, and representatives of local government, both with and without disabilities (including women with vision impairment, mobility impairment and deaf women). For some researchers without disability, including academics and service providers, this project was their first experiences of working in partnership with people with disabilities. For many of the researchers with disability, W-DARE is their first experience of working in a participatory project, which engaged them as partners in the research process.
Participants in each workshop also discussed the key barriers to SRH services experienced by women with disability which had started to emerge over the course of the week. The collective participation of all researchers and the contribution of diverse local perspectives in data collection, data analysis and planning, has shifted understanding about women with disability as researchers, facilitated improved research processes, and contributed significant quantitative and qualitative data, which will inform the activities to come in the next two years.
Completion of data analysis and planning for research activities for year 2 and year 3 will take place over the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates.