Social Research is one of the most challenging and satisfying arena of research that requires in-depth understanding about the actions and reactions of humans through observational and experimental methods. It involves several ethical and legal issues and is tougher to handle, especially so, as the clients concerned are not corporate, but non-profit organizations with an obviously stringent budget.
We, at Q&Q Research Insights, take pride in having a wide and intensive experience in conducting social research ranging from large-scale mapping exercises and documentation studies to qualitative research often involving high-risk population groups. We also offer consultancy services to various development sector organizations/NGOs.
Types of studies we are equipped to take up –
Socio-demographic surveys: Q&Q is equipped with well-qualified social and demographic researchers and a well-trained field staff spread across different states of the country. Q&Q personnel have a pooled experience of carrying out large-scale national and International studies funded by MoHFW, CDC Foundation, WHO, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Mac Arthur Foundation, Packard foundation, Inst. of Community Health Connecticut, Jt. UN Organizations, NACO and other reputed Govt. bodies and NGOs.
Reproductive & Sexual Health Studies: Q&Q has in its anvil a large body of Reproductive and sexual health studies done in the past eight years. Our work involved collection of data from community members, gatekeepers and health care providers. Our organization has the expertise and experience required to collect information on PLWHA, lives of people closely associated with the PLHWA like family members, treatment-seeking behavior, rehabilitation measures and efforts made for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Risk Behavior Assessment Studies: We have extensive experience in engaging our team among HIV/AIDS high-risk groups like truckers, migrant population, sex workers, males frequenting red-light areas etc. gathering sensitive information often under extremely hostile conditions. Q&Q has done detailed documentation of a lot of projects funded by Avert Society, HLFPPT, etc.
Mapping and Sentinel Studies: Our personnel’s have enormous experience in conducting mapping exercises of sample sizes 20,000 and more spanning across India. We have a pan-India presence with 6 research offices and 15 field offices with around 250 field personnel across India, enabling us to undertake large-scale sentinel surveys for communities.
Formative Research: Our in-house experts in social research domain make us a highly dependable partner for conducting all kinds of community studies including close-knit qualitative research studies. Q&Q is even capable in conducting ethnographic research studies wherein a researcher needs to spend sufficient time in the community living as one of the members.
Behavioural Studies: We have recently handled a couple of behavioural studies for major international sanitary napkin manufacturing company involving a good chunk of qualitative research and hand on experience in conducting Focus Group Discussions and In-depth Interviews.
Despite the increasing awareness level on condom usage and increasing access to condoms, the use of condoms was observed to be low among the high-risk population and number of HIV positive cases had gone up in the state. Thus our client – one of the non-profit organisation under Ministry of Health wanted to carry out a study to understand -
- The gap between current condom knowledge of high-risk groups and their clients' resistance for consistent use of condom
- To suggest communication routes to enhance condom use in all sex acts by the most risked populations.
Sampling and Methodology
Study was conducted in five critical districts of Maharashtra viz. Nagpur, Aurangabad, Sangli, Pune and Mumbai. A total of 25 In-depth interviews and 125 face-to-face interviews were conducted among the exit-clients of sex workers.
The study involved collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. Structured interview schedules with open-and closed-ended questions were administered. A perfect example of hard-to-reach informants’ study involving greater risk for interviewers, the project demanded tracking of exit-clients of sex workers.
- Q & Q Research Insights, in this challenging study - uncovered “beyond the obvious” reasons for non usage of condom among the clients of sex workers.
- We highlighted through this research how the sexual behavior and condom usage pattern changed from a paying partner to a non-paying partner.
- We profiled the respondents as per their occupation, migration history, age and media habits and suggested ways to develop targeted communication strategy to our client.
Study Objectives – Notwithstanding numerous efforts from the Government and other Philanthropic organizations, the use of condoms among both general as well as the high-risk population has remained more or less static.
Our client, a public sector organization had implemented Condom Social Marketing Project for the entire state of Maharashtra. This program aimed to halt and reverse HIV infection by increasing availability, accessibility of condom in the non-traditional outlets (NTO) like Paan/Bidi shops, General Stores, hair cutting saloons, Grocers, Dhabas, Hotels, food joints, petrol pumps etc. located in the “High Risk Areas (HRA)”; thereby generating the need to carry out a large scale census of all the NTOs in and around identified HRA sites.
Sampling and Methodology
21000 NTOs around 782 HRA were mapped in 22 districts of Maharashtra. A detailed census questionnaire to understand physical and commercial characteristics of the outlets and their condom stocking behavior was administered among all the surveyed NTOs.
- We profiled various NTOs covered in the study and identified outlets already selling condoms.
- A lot of difference in the condom stocking pattern was observed among the currently selling NTOs.
- Outlets selling spurious brands were also identified.
- We also identified the number of NTOS who were covered under specific training programme run by our client.
- We checked willingness of NTOs for stocking condoms and provided the details of such outlets to the client.
In 2007, MSACS, MDACS and Avert Society, had jointly organised a series of activities across Maharashtra with partners like UNICEF, BMGF, HLFPPT, Heroes Project, FHI, NRHM, and ICDS. Several state and district-level functions were organized with ‘Leadership’ as the theme, and ‘women’ on focus.
Services of Q&Q was hired with the objective of preparing a documentary of all the programs organised by these three organizations and the NGO’s supported by them across 11 Districts of the state on World AIDS Day (1st December).
Sampling and Methodology
Characterized by qualitative inputs, the study involved live coverage of functions organized by NGOs within a short duration of time. This involved preparation of interview guidelines, checklists, obtaining list of all the programs across the state, build support and secondary documents.
On the venue, media coverage, photographs, investigators’ observations, audience opinion and IEC materials were gathered. Our aim was to generate insights into the positive and negative aspects of the programme and provide recommendations.
In-depth interviews of Project Coordinators and DHO/Civil Surgeons were conducted. Around 1000 exit interviews were done at different venues. NGOs whose programs could not be covered live were contacted at a later date and details were obtained.
- Of the different programmed organized street plays, cultural programs movie shows and cricket matches were the main crowd pullers.
- Almost all NGO’s feel that the role of Avert/ MDACS/MSACS was limited to providing fund and IEC Materials.
- We suggested that the directives from AVERT/ MDACS/MSACS should be more specific, and well in advance. They should be communicated through meetings and not through e-mails, so that issues can be discussed.
- More booklets should be distributed so that people can resolve most of their queries on their own.
Our client, South Asian Regional Secretariat to one of the major International Organization dealing with Reproductive Health and Family Planning services in different countries provides technical support, as well as monitor and supervise fund flow to their member association (MA). The MA, a well-recognized volunteer-led organization in India established in 1949, promotes access to SRH information and services related to family planning, safe abortions, HIV/AIDS and sexuality to poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and young people. Our client urged us to carry out service statistics data audit exercise in Service Delivery Points (SDPs) of the MA by one of our experienced socio-demographic researcher.
Sampling and Methodology
Selection of SDPs to be visited was random, however, care was taken that they are spread wide across the country. Six branch offices, one each from Delhi, Maharashtra (Mumbai), Madhya Pradesh (Indore), Jharkhand (Gomia), Tamil Nadu (Chennai) and Karnataka (Bangalore) were selected for the specific purpose. SDPs were selected from these branches based on completeness of the data required for audit. Desk research work was done at QQRI Mumbai office and MA Head quarter (HQ) in Mumbai. Data audit exercise was completed within 15 working days.
- Data audit of services involving social health issues is sensitive as an auditor not only needs to be a well-informed bio-social researcher but also must consider the human face associated with the sheer numbers. It further needs greater level of persistence and consideration when voluntary organizations are involved in such exercise as they normally are motivated to bring process-oriented social change and are not prepared to get subjected to audit exercise.
- The actual auditing work was done both at the MA-HQ and SDP level. It involved a trace and verification exercise of selected service statistic(s) indicators at each data collection (registers, OPD patient cards) and aggregation level, compare the reported and audited figures, accuracy checks, consistency check and suggestion of reasons for result variation.
- Introduction of Management Information System (MIS) in all the SDPs was felt the most necessary change to be brought about; as officials of these institutions are health-related service providers and are not normally experienced in data management. There is a need to ensure that the M & E officers appointed in these organizations are skilled and trained adequately as the entire data management depends on him/her.