Oedipus Rex Essay

1681 Words Sep 23rd, 2014 7 Pages
Differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods
Source: SEEP-AIMS 2000 Learning from Clients: Assessment Tools for microfinance practitioners. Washington, DC: AIMS/Management Systems International ()

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods As outlined in the previous chapter, the AIMS/SEEP approach to impact assessment by and for practitioners combines quantitative and qualitative techniques. The Impact Survey and Client Exit Survey are categorized as quantitative tools because they collect standardized information by asking exactly the same questions to clients and organizing their answers into quantifiable response categories. The individual Loan Use Strategies Over Time and Client Empowerment interviews and the Client
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Within the context of USAID's performance-based management systems, the choice of more quantitative or qualitative indicators involves trade-offs among practicality and cost, objectivity and comparability, and the directness or validity of the measure."
Excerpt from Performance Monitoring and Evaluation TIPS, Guidelines for Indicator and Data Quality, No. 12, (1998). USAID Center for Development and Information and Evaluation.

The quantitative approach, with proper sampling, allows for the measurement of many subjects' reactions to a set of questions. Because each question has a limited set of answers, the results can be compared and analyzed statistically; they also can be generalized to a larger population within known limits of error (Warwick and Lininger, 1975; Patton, 1986). Qualitative methods provide the context against which to more fully understand those results. They capture what people have to say in their own words and describe their experiences in depth. Qualitative data provides the texture of real life in its many variations; it gives insight into the reasoning and feelings that motivate people to take action. In short, quantitative methods are standardized, systematically obtaining succinct responses from as many clients as possible. A qualitative approach provides

greater richness and more detailed information about a smaller number of people (Patton, 1986). Which approach is more appropriate for any

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