Semi-structured interviews are gaining popularity in recent years. The approach is recognized for its open framework that supports focused, and conversational communication between the researcher and the participants (Kumar, 2020). Also, the majority of the questions are formed during the interviews, providing the researcher an opportunity to get in-depth details into a subject (Kallio et al. 2016: Evans and Lewis, 2018: Goldman, 2020). Nonetheless, to conduct semi-structured interviews successfully, one needs sufficient planning. Qualitative research studies seek to understand the world from the subject’s perception, an aspect that makes semi-structured interviews the most effective approach for collecting data.
Using a qualitative approach for semi-structured interviews with activists and officials in developing state will provide the researcher with several benefits. The method is preferred as it provides researchers with an accurate picture of how individuals perceive a particular issue (O’Keeffe et al., 2016). Additionally, with semi-structured interviews, sequencing, and wording of the questions is determined by the researcher to suit the interview context (DeJonckheere and Vaughn, 2019). Also, the semi-structured interviews can be conducted in multiple ways thus overcoming barriers likely to limit completion of a study. For instance, in case some of the officials or activists cannot be engaged through face-to-face interviews, information from the individuals can still be obtained through telephone, email, or brief. A shared understanding from the discussion is that semi-structured interviews suit the needs of conducting qualitative research.
In most qualitative studies, interview is considered a vital tool of data collection. Semi-structured interviews rely on open-ended questions that require further probing to get detailed information on a subject (Voutsina, 2018: Priyadarshini, 2020). For example, the criteria are essential when a researcher wants to get independent thoughts of the participants. The purpose of the qualitative research requires one-on-one interviews with activists and officials from the developing states. Therefore, semi-structured interviews will be ideal strategies for collecting information. Data collected from the interviews can be analyzed using thematic analysis.
A qualitative research method is recommended for studies in a new field, especially when the researcher wants to theorize an issue. A semi-structured interview is recognized as interviewees are free to share their thoughts without limitations. According to Jamshed (2016), semi-structured interviews are compared to a conversation between a researcher and the participant. Unlike other approaches, the conservation is usually skewed towards understanding the interests of the interviewer.
The primary purpose of any research is to obtain the visualized or perceived aspects of an issue to help examine realities, with close comparison to existing theories or applications. Research methods employed has a significant influence on the research outcomes (Evans and Lewis, 2018). By adopting qualitative research in the suggested study, the researcher will get an opportunity to modify individuals’ perceptions obtained from the semi-structured interviews (Swain, 2018). The method will also help the researcher get an in-depth analysis of the research topic, which is essential for informed decision making.
In conclusion, semi-structured interviews are one of the most important strategies used to collect information. Using semi-structured interviews is recognized for several advantages. Typical benefits of the method as discussed in the paper include freedom by participants to express their views freely and in-depth data analysis. Therefore, by using a qualitative research method to analyze semi-structured interviews, the researcher will get an in-depth understanding of the topic. Also, it is easy for the individual to modify the pre-conceived thoughts of the participants when responding to the research problem. Overly, the qualitative method is one of the most effective techniques used in the analysis of data obtained from semi-structured interviews.
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O’Keeffe, J., Buytaert, W., Mijic, A., Brozovic, N. and Sinha, R., 2016. The use of semi-structured interviews for the characterisation of farmer irrigation practices.
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