Posted on








In planning of field research the following steps should be involve;

I.  Choice of a research site

The choice of a research site means a place where research is going to be conducted or taken according to nature/purpose of research.


when selecting a site for conducting a research the following things should be considered

  1. Near-this means a place should be classer
  2. Accessibility
  3. Social service must be available

II. Pre- visit  a research site 

–  A researcher must visit a place were research is going to be conducted early before involving on research, this help in introducing the researcher to the authorities and respondents, also help researcher to be familiar with a place


  • Will Help a researcher to know in deep the equipment needed during research process
  • Help a researcher to identity the problem which may face during study
  • Help to design the working schedule
  • Help the researcher to estimate the cost of study

III.  Choice of research tools /methods

This include eg

– Questioner

–  Interview

– Checklist group

IV.  The researcher welfare consideration

V.   Organization of a working schedule. This is a planning of activities to take place at a specific time during research activity

VI.  Insure transport and accommodation

VII.  Assurance of equipment that should be used in the site

VIII.  Drafting a research ( research proposal) it is the systematic plan that bring, together the organized primarily plan that will be needed to accomplish the research process



The research process is a series at activities that are to be followed over time when caring out a research. It consist at steps necessary to effective carry out research and the desired sequencing at these steps

What is to note is that there is no precise number of stage agreed by different school at thought



In conduct research there are eight steps to be followed. The following bellow are those steps to follow from the first to the last;

1.       Identification of the problem

2.       Literature review

3.       Formation of hypothesis

4.       Data collection

5.       Data analysis

6.       Data recording, presentation and interpretation

7.       Testing hypothesis

8.       Recommendation and conclusion


Detail classification of all eight steps when your conducting a field research


Identification of the problem  is the first step in research process, this step it involves knowing of the problem and finding the source of the problem.

What is  Research Problem?

It refer to some difficulty which a researcher experience in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and obtain a solution for the same

  • Any thing that a person finds unsatisfactory, a difficulty of some sort, a state of affair that needs to be changed, anything that is not working as well
  • Personnel experience through living in particular area

Sources of research problem

There are different ways that can be considered as sources of research problems

  •     Personal experience through living in particular area
  •     Review of literature
  •     Current social issue
  •     Deduction from theories
  •     Practical situation ( land conflict)
Land conflicts


Characteristics of research problem

-Any research problem should be lay on the following characteristics

-Research problem should be

(a) testable

(b) new and not been done before

(c) clear and not vague

(d) educative

(e) familiar or common problem

(f)  affordable in terms of cost

(g)  interested

(h)  researchable



This stage involving intensive ready of different relevant literature on the particular problem aims to gain or increase knowledge on the problem to be tackled. Example of such literature resources includes books, journal’s, newspapers, magazine, articles, letters, research reports and other relevant materials.

Literature Review Tips for the Introduction and Discussion Sections - Enago Academy


Reasons for reviewing literature

The following are the main reason why we conduct a literature review

1.To collect more information/data

2. To identify theories that will be tested using the data ( to put the study into perception i.e. Into theory

3. To avoid unnecessary repetition of works which have already been done by other researchers. To avoid plagiarism ( an act of using someone’s ideas) works and pretending that they are yours)

4. To select appropriate research design

5. To enable the researcher to formulate hypothesis


Guideline in making a literature review

  1. Have a plan in advance
  2. Start with recent document /finds
  3. Read in depth in order to determine the relevant feature at your study
  4. Acknowledge authors of the material
  5. Avoid reproducing the same material

So a Literature review can be defined as the process of identifying, locating, evaluating, summarizing and incorporating in the study document having materials which are related to the problem under investigation



Hypothesis is the researcher own speculation about the problem in question. This is a tentative answer to the problem in question or intelligent guess for the answer of the problem to be researched

Therefore we can say research hypothesis it is a theory or statement of fact which are not been proved

  • The hypothesis must cover the cause of the problem, effect of the problem, possible solution and recommendation
  • Hypothesis involving testing of variables and experimentation process.


Types Of Hypothesis

There are two types of Hypothesis

  • Null hypothesis
  • alternative/substantive hypothesis

1.  Null hypothesis

Is a type of hypothesis which stated negatively showing no relationship between two variable Eg. There is no relationship between Death of People and Politics in Kibiti

2.  Alternative/substantive hypothesis

In this hypothesis it stated positively showing that there is relationship between two variables eg. There is relationship between Death of People and Politics in Kibiti

So a researcher may use either of the two whenever formatting hypothesis for a study


Characterizes of hypothesis

a.       It has an element of comparison, where by two or three terms are compared

b.      It leaves room for “yes’ or “no”

c.       It must be related to the objective of study

d.      The quantities words used are easily measurable e.g more,most, majority etc

e.     An hypothesis is not obvious


Function of hypothesis

1.       Enables to relate theories into observation and observation into theories

2.       Presents a suggested solution to the problem

3.       Present a simple form of a statement of researcher expectations

4.       Give researcher direction to the collection and interpretation of data

5.       Provide a framework for reporting conclusion of ones study

6.       Refine the research problems


Criteria for a good hypothesis

a. Should be relevant ( relevance) should reflect the topic or problem of study

b. Should be testable ( testability) there must be some way of acquiring evidence that would confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis

c. Should be compatible ( compatibility) should fit well with what we already believe about natural order of things i.e consist ant to statement of fact, theories or laws

d. Should be simple, clear, precise ( simplicity)

e. Should easily predict the consequences/ out come and be applicable to many other types of circumstance ( predictive power)

f.Should be specific and limited in scope


Importance of hypothesis

  1. It define which facts are relevant and which one are not
  2. It indicate the type of data required
  3. The role at hypothesis is to help researcher by limiting area of research
  4. It determines the most appropriate technique of data analysis
  5. It contributes to theory development

Research tool or equipment’s

1.       Note book

2.       Camera

3.       Tape recorder

4.       Computer

5.       Check list

6.       Questioner

7.       Ruler

Review: Apple Magic Keyboard - Macfilos


Data is the body of information presented in numerical form. Can be treated either qualitatively or quantitatively

· At this stage the researcher go to the field and collect data physically

There are two basic sources or types of data

(a)    Secondary data

These are the data collected by the researcher from existing information such as book, magazine, newspaper, research reports, TV, Radio, photograph, Government reports, census etc

Another Tanzanian newspaper banned for criticizing the government | Africanews

-Is the information obtained from other people’s findings, past publications and official records


(b)   Primary data

These are original or firsthand information collected directly by a researcher in the field. This data is collected through interview, questionnaire, observation and FGD(Focus Group Discussion) also key informative.

Ways of collecting primary data/method of data collection

  1. Interview Method
  2. Questionnaire Method
  3. Observation method
  4. Focus group discussion ( FGD)


It is a direct discussion between the researcher and the respondent. This method involves verbal interaction between an interviewer and interviewee either face to face conversation or over telephone. Under this, there’s presentation of oral verbal stimuli and reply in term of oral- verbal responses


Types of interview

1. Structure (formal) interview

In this kind of interview question are prior – prepared and the same question are asked to all the respondents or interviewee.

2. Unstructured (informal)

A researcher here does not have prior prepared questions but he/she has some topic to cover. Respondent are not asked the same questions and they can answer in whatever the way


Things to consider In interview 

·         The researcher must understand respondents own situation

·         There researcher must grasp the totality of respondent’s situation

·         There must be a sense of closeness between researcher and respondent

·         Some topic which are very sensitive to react on e.g political issues or social affair, researcher must avoid sensitive/irritative questions.

·         The interview must take place between two parties only. There must not be  a third party or listener as respondent will not be free to give the right answer

·         There must be flexibility i.e. A researcher must be able to put him/herself in the situation of respondent

·         Time also must be considered. It is better be working hours Or whatever time found favourable.


Advantage of interview method

1.       It is includes or suitable for both literacy and illiteracy respondents making it to have wide coverage. People who can not read or write are accommodated in  the sample.

2.       They are flexible. Unlike to questioner which  can not change within a time but in interview can change

3.       The researcher can give clarification when a question is not well understood. It ensure the researcher whether the respondent understood the question or not

4.       Direct contact with the respondent enables the researcher to estimate the accuracy of the responses

5.       A researcher can get as many answer as possible due to freeness of  the respondent.

6.       It can be used to collect data on sudden, issues such as diseases outbreak or an accident. Thus it is very useful to journalist

7.       There is high rate of responses as compared to questionnaire method. Due to the fact, interviewers and interviewee have direct contact


Disadvantage of interview

1.       It is very expensive method especially when large and widely spread geographical sampled is taken

2.       Language barrier is a most likely problem that can hinder smooth running of the interview. This results into the need to an interpreter which increase costs

3.       Time consuming as the researcher can only talk to one respondent at a time

4.       Interview are not effective for researches and respondents with physical disabilities eg dumb and deaf persons

5.       Prove to subjectivity there is possibility of the bias of interviewer and that of interviewer

6.       It is difficult to conduct where population is scattered as there is always lack of accessibility to respondent. Etc


Questionnaire method uses questions inorder together information.


Refer to the prepared written questions which are handled or given to the respondents on hand, posted or mailed to be answered so as to provide relevant information for a particular problem of research. This type of research instrument is suitable in gathering information over a large sample or geographical area

There are two types of questionnaire

(a)    Closed –ended /rigid/structured questioner

This refer to question which are accompanied by a list of possible alternative from which the respondents select the appropriate answer

E.g. The answer may be limited to “YES’ or “NO’ True- false etc

The reason for soil erosion in your area is because of:


b)Limbering cutting trees

c) Nature factor

b)open – ended/unstructured question ( guide/direct)

– these also known as lead question. These are types of question that allow the respondents to answers them as seem appropriate

– Here questions are asked and space is provided for respondents to fill in using their own words

– the respondents are given complete freedom of expressing their view


Advantages of questionnaire

1.       It save time since several questionnaires may be distributed to many respondents and being filled at the same time

2.       It is free from the bias of interviewer

3.       It is less expensive even for respondents scattered over a wider geographical area because can be posted

4.       Easy to analyze as they give minimum explanation

5.       The researcher is able to win the respondent’s trust or any fears that respondents might have

6.       Provide enough chance for the respondents to think carefully and give the best answers

7.       Adequate and large quantity of information can be gathered


Disadvantage of questionnaire

1.       Questionnaire may not be effective when the respondent are illiterate or language barriers

2.       There is no opportunity to ask for further information or clarification of some misunderstanding

3.       Mailed questionnaires may be lost once they are sent

4.       No clean reasons can be given for incomplete responses

5.       Accuracy of answers is not assured since the respondent may cheat as the researcher has no direct content

6.       Response rate can be quite low


C. Observation method

It is a type of research data collection method under which the information is sought by looking at a phenomena without asking the respondent

-Is the systematic method of data collection which involves the use of eyes than voice and ears. Observation is a carefully and accurate watching and recording of the events as they occur in their natural setting. The researcher go to the field with idea of what he/she is going to observe and he/she expect to see everything carefully and closely

-The research should records what he/she sees not what he/she hears


Type of observation method

1.       Participant observation method

Researcher becomes part and parcel of people under observation

-this is the one where researcher joins in the daily life of a group or organization he/she is studying for a period of time e.g. 1-3 months, a year depending on what he/she is studying


2.       Non- participant observation

Researcher observes without participating in the life of the observed. Here researcher observes actions, behavior and activities of the group he/she is studying without participation in the daily life of the people he/she is studying


Advantages of observation methods

a.       If observation done accurately, subjectivity is eliminated because it doesn’t involve the respondent

b.      It overcome the language barrier

c.       The method is independent of the respondent’s wiliness to respond

d.      The method allows full participation of the researcher in the field research process

e.      Help in developing observation skill to researcher

f.        It is suitable for both literate and illiterate groups

g.       Only the relevant data is collected


Disadvantages of observation

a.       The researcher is involved in extensive traveling making the exercise tiresome and time consuming

b.      It is an expensive method

c.       It may not be possible to collect data of past activities

d.      Visual impairment may limit effectiveness of this method ( blindness)

e.      When people know that they are studied they use to change their behavior


D. Focus group discussion ( FGD)

-It is an intensive free discussion where qualitative data on how people in a group or community think about a given situation issue or problem are collected

-the size of the group is small ranging between five and ten people but preferably 6-8 people who share certain characteristics which are relevant to the study

-FGD is a special type of group in term of the propose size, composition and procedures conducting a carefully planned and design as discussion in order to obtain information on the participants beliefs and perception.

-FGD should be  composed of homogeneous members of the target population eg similar age, Education level, profession and gender

-Researcher should have specific topic to be discussed and a recording list of the discussion should be made.

-In FGD researcher becomes facilitator and therefore FGD require good planning and training of group moderator


FGD planning

Focus group discussion consist of

1.       Facilitator: who is also a researcher ( moderator)

2.       Recorder: Is an assistant of the facilitator taking notes

3.       Discussion guide: sub topic

4.       Report establishment: involving and making good relationship with people

5.       Participants: the respondents.

6.       Participant selection: formation of homogeneous based on various Criteria


Discussion Procedure

1.       Facilitator expressing the general purpose of the discussion

2.       Member introducing themselves in order to obtain preliminary information about the group

3.       Facilitator allow a free discussion for every individual

4.       Facilitation may ask permission to record some important information

5.       Recorder going on taking notes while observing participant

6.       Before the end of the free discussion the facilitator should be making sure that all discussion guide are adequately tackled and all important data are obtained


Advantage of FGD

i.   The method is less expensive

ii.   Save time because take about 45 minutes

iii.   It is the best method for identifying and exploring belief ideas or opinions in a community.

iv.  Stimulates free discussion where people can talk and express their view clearly and freely (because they feel sense of involvement In the discussion)

v.    FGD can produce a lot of information quickly

vi.   Respondents acquire speaking,listening and coordinating skill

vii.  Researcher became active person in the discussion compare to  questionnaire or observation

viii.  It’s good for generating hypothesis for larger studies


Disadvantages of FGD

a.  Only few respondent may be active in discussion and dominate others.

b. This method is not representative since very small sample size of the population is involved

c.  It’s mostly intended to generate views and not getting correct answers

d.  Since it is a surprise, members may not be in a good position to participate in discussion and give their contributions.

e. The researcher has less control over the flow of discussion and the results are hard to analyze.

f.  Selection of the group may involve subjectivity and biasness


E.measuring method

It is a method which uses height, length ( distance) weight method and angle measuring devices in field data collection. This method is accurate and quick. Measurement of scale include, ordinal, nominal, interval and rations.

F. Rapid appraisal method:

This is another kind of discussion where the researcher invited mass conduct of discussion or meeting



Under this stage the data collected are edited and analyzed to identify relevant and irrelevant data. Data organization means putting the data into some systematic form

–  Data analysis refers to the process to examining the coded data critically and making inferences

-Data are tabulated and various satisfied measures such as measure of central tendency are assessed

–  The Data are stored by means of paper storage or electronic storage where statistical software package such as word processor, spread sheet or database may be asked

–  Under this stage of field research the raw data collected are edited, coded, recorded and analyzed



Data edited, coded, recorded and analyzed in the previous stage are now presented in various statistical form such as graphs, maps and charts. Also photograph field sketching, tabulation and tallying may be used

Therefore data presentation refers to the way of arranging data to make it clearly understood.

Interpretation is the done using various criteria suitable or reflecting on the problem of the research and the formulated hypothesis of the research



The original hypothesis is then tested against the research results and if the fact/data support the hypothesis generalization may be made. If the hypothesis appears wrong the researcher goes back to the field and start afresh and ways of collecting data must be changed



Research gives/his/her opinion and then gives conclusion of all that he has observed



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *