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Online interviewing with interpreters in humanitarian contexts

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Article number1444887
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Volume13
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/03/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Recognising that one way to address the logistical and safety considerations of research conducted in humanitarian emergencies is to use internet communication technologies to facilitate interviews online, this article explores some practical and methodological considerations inherent to qualitative online interviewing. Method: Reflections from a case study of a multi-site research project conducted in post-conflict countries are presented. Synchronous online cross-language qualitative interviews were conducted in one country. Although only a small proportion of interviews were conducted online (six out of 35), it remains important to critically consider the impact upon data produced in this way. Results: A range of practical and methodological considerations are discussed, illustrated with examples. Results suggest that whilst online interviewing has methodological and ethical potential and versatility, there are inherent practical challenges in settings with poor internet and electricity infrastructure. Notable methodological limitations include barriers to building rapport due to partial visual and non-visual cues, and difficulties interpreting pauses or silences. Conclusions: Drawing upon experiences in this case study, strategies for managing the practical and methodological limitations of online interviewing are suggested, alongside recommendations for supporting future research practice. These are intended to act as a springboard for further reflection, and operate alongside other conceptual frameworks for online interviewing.