from the Field
In addition to conducting Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), a staggered engagement format was employed during the field research to have more involved and participatory responses from the respondents. There were three separate engagements, each involving the use of both research as well as design tools.
The first engagement was focused on rapport-building with the respondents and involved activities like Socio-Demographic Profiling, Visual Metaphor Elicitation, Social Network Mapping. Having paved the way for subsequent interactions, the second engagement was conducted with individual spouses, and covered pertinent themes of the study using In-Depth Interview, Diurnal Mapping, Technology Interaction, Popular Culture Based Statements and individual Life Trajectory Mapping. The third engagement was targeted at couples as a unit to understand couple dynamics, their communication and decision making patterns through the activity of Couple Life Trajectory Mapping.
FGDs were conducted with three groups of community members – mothers in law, fathers in law and married/unmarried men from the community to capture their understanding and opinions around family planning, marriage norms and SRH. The KIIs engaged relevant key stakeholders like program staff of local partners, community influencers, religious and political leaders, health system actors and pharmacists to understand their perspectives around family planning and the engagement of men in the family planning process.
In-depth interviews were conducted in a staggered manner. The methodology used a combination of ethnographic research techniques and design tools to gather as much qualitative information as possible. A staggered approach was used to interact with couples, where the first engagement was intended to serve as an ice-breaker for establishing comfort, followed by individual interactions with men and women separately. This allowed for the in-depth interviews to be conducted without fear of their spouse’s judgement, resulting in deeper insights into their behaviour. The following design tools were used:
1. Visual Metaphor
The respondents were shown a diverse set of cards with abstract pictures on them. The researcher would ask them a question, for eg: How would you best describe your spouse, and in response the respondent would pick a card as their answer.
2. Trust Circles and Social Network Mapping
The respondents were given a map (as shown below) on which they would place themselves in the centre of the orbit and based on whom they trust, on which issues, they would place indicative stickers on these orbits, ranging from closest to farthest.
3. Life Trajectory
The respondents were given a graph on which they plotted their past, the highs and lows, and then plotted their aspiring future. This helped them visualise their life journey thus giving the researcher an entry into conversing about finances and aspirations in relation to planning a family.
5. Diurnal Mapping
The respondents were asked for their schedule from morning till night and this was pictorially represented on a chart. This activity gave us insight into the time frame when the couples spend time together, giving us windows for interventions to enable spousal communication and couple making.
A summary of our findings on themes of Masculinities, Intent and Use of Contraception, Knowledge and Channels of Information on Family Planning can be accessed below: