This chapter presents the methodology and procedures which were used in conducting the study. A research design refers to a plan or blueprint of how a researcher intends conducting the research (Babbie and Mouton, 2008:74). Research methodology covers the whole process of how the research was conducted. The study used a mixed approach where both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis were used. Qualitative data was obtained from interviews and open-ended questionnaires. The quantitative mechanisms were used to comprehend and analyse statistical data obtained from the close-ended questionnaires.
This study is subdivided into the following sections; research design, type of methodology, sampling technique, research instruments, data analysis and data presentation, ethical issues and lastly is the conclusion.
3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
Research design is defined as a general strategy for conducting a study. Brewer (2010) define research design as a framework that constitute the blue print for collection, measurement and analysis of data which intend to obtain valid objectives and accurate answers to research questions or assumptions.
A mixed methods approach was used in this study. According to Creswell (2003:18) mixed 0methods approach “focuses on mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies”. The main advantage of using the mixed methods approach is that it enables better understanding of the research problem and this cannot be achieved if only qualitative or quantitative approach is used. The researcher opted for the mixed methods approach so as to unearth the rural people’s experiences, feelings and opinions in order to achieve deeper understanding of the research topic.
The qualitative approach was utilised to a greater extent than the quantitative approach to collect data. Creswell (2007) points out that the researcher opted to use qualitative approach to a greater extent as it best suited depth understanding of the rural people experiences. Creswell (2003:21) further notes that quantitative approach was used to a lesser extent on collection and analysis of demographic data. In quantitative approach data is collected using close-ended questions. Quantitative enabled the researcher to note if the variables of the demographic data had any relation with the participants’ level of socio-economic development.
The focus on this mixed methods study was to understand the approaches used by the NGOs in an attempt to determine the impact of NGOs project on socio-economic development of Zimbabwe’s rural communities. In order to achieve this, the researcher spent some time living in the area of study, interacting with the community leaders, attending NGOs workshops, interacting with relevant government officials related to the topic, doing observations and conducting interviews. This enabled the researcher to have a better understanding and be able to have a detailed information on the rural community’s level of participation. This promoted deeper understanding on the research topic and allowed for continuous reflection on the research process.
Qualitative research approach refers to a research that deals with phenomena that is difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically, such as beliefs, meanings, attributes, symbols and this may involve content analysis and a detailed case study (Bricki and Green, 2012). Qualitative research relates to the understanding of some aspect of social life, and its methods which in general, generate words, rather than numbers, as data for analysis (Bricki and Green, 2012). However according to Burns & Grove (2003:356) qualitative research are inductive, holistic, emic, subjective and process oriented methods used to understand, interpret, describe and develop a theory on a phenomena or setting cited in Morse & Field (1996:1999). Qualitative research is mostly associated with words, language and experiences rather than measurements, statistics and numerical figures.
Holloway (2015:4) argues that researchers who use mixed research approach adapt a person centred and holistic perspective to understand the human experience, and also focuses on specific concepts. The original context of the experience is unique, and rich knowledge and insight can be generated in depth to present a lively picture of the participants’ reality and social context. Holloway (2015:5) further substantiate that qualitative research approach helps the researcher to generate an in-depth account that will present a lively picture of the research participants’ reality. In qualitative research, the researcher is required to be a good listener, non-judgmental, friendly, honest and flexible. This design was chosen to meet the objectives of the study, namely to examine the the socio-economic effects of NGOs’ projects on the intended beneficiaries, to analyse the challenges faced by NGOs in implementing their projects in Matobo district and to scrutinize the sustainability of the NGOs’ projects in Matobo rural district.
Population includes all elements that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a study (Burns & Grove 2003:43). According to McMillan and Schumacher (2010:129), “a (study) population is a group of elements or cases, whether individuals, objects or events, that conforms to specific criteria and to which we intend to generalise the result of the research.” For the purpose of this study, population consisted of the; community members, government officials and NGOs representatives. The community members comprised of the local leadership that is the councillor, village heads, business people, religious leaders and external workers (teachers, nurses, and vertinary officers).
Sampling can be defined as a process used by a researcher to identify and gather people or things to be studied (Ritchie and Lewis, 2013). However scholars like Orodho and Kombo (2017) have further defined sampling as a procedure of choosing a number of people or entities from a larger population such that the sampled group who possess the elements that are representative of the features of the entire population group which can be exemplified to a process of cutting a piece from a cake and choosing methods of justifying the sample selected. Mouton (1996:132) defines a sample as elements selected with the intention of finding out something about the total population from which they are taken. Hence the need to have a small but representative sample of 30 respondents which included government departments, NGOs representatives and community members was essential to cover up the