Working with Teams of "Insiders": Innovations in Qualitative Data Collection in Global South

Enid Schatz, University of Missouri, Columbia
Nicole Angotti, University of Colorado at Boulder
Sangeetha Madhavan, University of Maryland

The convergence of two qualitative methodological strategies – working in “teams” and with “insiders” – can facilitate access, efficiency, and insights into research questions of interest to demographers. Team-based research, more common in developed country settings, traditionally entails two or more professors leading a group of graduate students. “Insider” research in the Global South usually refers to local research assistants serving as interpreters/key informants for Northern trained investigators. Here we draw on three projects embedded in the Agincourt research site in rural South Africa that integrate both approaches to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of this strategy. These projects, focused on HIV/AIDS, aging, and children’s wellbeing, utilize a “team-insider” approach by hiring local research assistants who assume roles beyond language interpreters and cultural brokers. The projects vary in their use of “teams” and “insiders” but together these projects deepen our understanding of pressing population concerns in the Global South.

  See paper

Presented in Session 42: Innovations in Qualitative Methods