How to conduct a case study Loop Patriarchy Purpose of a case study The purpose of a case study is to provide a more thorough analysis of a situation or “case” (often the story of an individual) which will reveal interesting information to the reader. Often they are used in social development to describe a person’s life. Case studies often accompany reports, to give flesh’ to written reports. Know why you are conducting this interview. To what end will you ask questions? Ethical considerations The person to be interviewed must be respected.
She must understand why you ant to speak to her and what use you will put what she says. You must explain who you are, who you work for, why you want to speak to her. Respect her dignity. Case studies must avoid exploitation. Similarly, they must avoid sensationalism. You must also avoid reporting any claim that is far-fetched, or which could cause conflict between her and her family and community. Be aware that poverty is often associated with disenfranchisement. Do not abuse her powerlessness for your own ends.
Make sure you use an interpreter if you do not speak her language. If you do, you must ensure the interpreter is trained, and does not put words into the respondent’s mouth, or censor her or encourage her to say things she otherwise would not have. Will you take photographs? Will you ask permission? What will you do if permission is refused? How will you deal with the power imbalance between you and her? What will you do with the photographs? Will you give her a copy? How will this be arranged? Location busy with child care or other household duties.
If it is done elsewhere, ensure her inform so that she may feel composed and not intimidated. Steps to Writing the Case Study 1. Know the subject or project. Be sure you know where she fits in. If she is a beneficiary, be sure you know of what. 2. Know her name. Be courteous and good mannered. Dress as if you respect her. 3. Arrive on time. Ask permission before taking photos 4. Explain how the study will be done. 5. Avoid the gathering of crowds. Well intended curiosity on the part of neighbors may be upsetting or embarrassing, and may cause her not to speak or not to reveal ere true feelings. . Decide if you will use anonymity. Discuss this with her. If you do agree, keep your promise. 7. Take notes. Check them with her when you are finished. Where you are quoting, use quotation marks. Avoid unnecessary descriptions of poverty that might humiliate “she was dressed in rags”, etc. Writing the report 1. Use a snappy attracting title if you can think of one. Catch the reader’s attention. Consider your audience carefully. 2. Try to keep your report to one page. This means that each word must count. 3.
Your analysis should locate the woman’s words and circumstances within the wider situation. Her story should therefore be illustrative. Your report can therefore draw on project reports, or the findings of research. If you do use reports or research they should be quoted and referenced. 4. Depending on the context, consider using the problem – solution – benefit flow, explaining how our work addresses the problem and what benefits accrue from our intervention. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t underestimate the knowledge of the reader.