In-house seminar on ‘Qualitative Data Analysis-Inductive Approach’ by Usha Perera and Suresh Ranasinghe

28 June 2022

‘Qualitative Data Analysis-Inductive Approach’ was the subject of IPS’ in-house seminar this month presented by Research Assistants, Usha Perera and Suresh Ranasinghe. The inductive approach was the primary research methodology used in the ongoing IPS research study ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Diets and the Food Environment in Sri Lanka’s Urban Underserved Areas’. In their presentation, they highlighted how an inductive approach to qualitative data analysis allows for more unique findings to be identified in research fields when compared to a deductive approach.

The researchers explained that an inductive approach to data analysis is not bound by predetermined themes, but by multiple interpretations and readings of the raw data. Hence the reason for individual researchers to produce findings that are not identical to each other. They continued that such an approach follows a process, namely, i) preparation of raw data; ii) close reading of the text; iii) creation of categories; iv) overlapping coding and uncoded text; and v) continuing revision and refinement of categories. This process allows identifying research findings based on themes and headings. It is also easier to develop an analysis based on the derived information and understand the relationship among the themes.

To further elaborate on the research method, the researchers took the example of the ongoing IPS study. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, it was understood that many households in Colombo’s underserved settlements reduced food consumption to cope with the issues. While several codes and categories were identified in the raw data, further reading of the text allowed the researchers to identify overlapping codes and uncoded text. Their findings were illustrated under four categories of accessibility, affordability, convenience, and desirability- factors of the personal domain of food environment. The researchers concluded that the findings show a mixture of positive and negative outcomes. However, the magnitude of negative outcomes was higher compared to the positive outcomes due to the negative consequences of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Download the full presentation HERE.