“We prefer the friendly approach and not the facility”: on the value of qualitative research in Ethiopia

Jackson, Ruth 2018, “We prefer the friendly approach and not the facility”: on the value of qualitative research in Ethiopia, Ethiopian journal of health sciences, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 555-562, doi: 10.4314/ejhs.v28i5.6.

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Title “We prefer the friendly approach and not the facility”: on the value of qualitative research in Ethiopia
Author(s) Jackson, RuthORCID iD for Jackson, Ruth orcid.org/0000-0003-3750-9372
Journal name Ethiopian journal of health sciences
Volume number 28
Issue number 5
Start page 555
End page 562
Total pages 8
Publisher Jimma University
Place of publication Jimma, Oromia Ethiopia
Publication date 2018-09
ISSN 1029-1857
Keyword(s) Work force
Health service, satisfaction
Africa, Ethiopia
Maternal health
Qualitative research
Summary BACKGROUND: Quantitative research is useful for answering‘how many’ or ‘how much’ questions, while qualitative researchhelps answer ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions. Most research abouthealth extension workers (HEWs) has been quantitative and fewstudies examine the experiences of HEWs themselves. Thisqualitative study draws attention to the gendered dynamics ofhuman resources for health at the community level.METHODS: Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with 14 HEWs(two FGDs in Afar Region and two in Southern NationsNationality and Peoples Region), and interviews with 45 HEWsfrom Afar Region, SNNPR and Adwa (Tigray Region) wereconducted to identify how gender issues affected their well-being.Questions were designed to explore personal safety, stress,autonomy, self-esteem, family, other social relationships, as wewanted to analyze the extent to which these gendered issuesaffected HEWs in their day-to-day work.RESULTS: By employing female HEWs, the Health ExtensionProgram (HEP) has seen substantial gains in ‘practical’ genderneeds by improving women’s access to, and utilization of maternaland child health services. Although the HEP has the potential to begender transformative by providing employment for HEWs, there islimited evidence that it 'strategically' advances women's position.Many HEWs had heavy workloads, received low pay relative toother public sector jobs and lacked opportunity to transfer orupgrade their skills and advance within the health workforcehierarchy.CONCLUSION: Qualitative research can provide complexdescriptions of the social world to better understand what peoplesuch as HEWs say and the meanings they give, thus providingexplanations for some health problems outside disciplinaryboundaries.
Language eng
DOI 10.4314/ejhs.v28i5.6
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, Ruth Jackson
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30115992

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