IB 2022/08 Qualitative Interviewing during the COVID-19 Pandemic Part 2: A Personal Reflection on Video & Telephone Interviewing

Cover of IB 2022/08 Qualitative Interviewing during the COVID-19 Pandemic Part 2: A Personal Reflection on Video & Telephone Interviewing

Author/s (editor/s):

Elise Howard

Publication year:

2022

Publication type:

In Brief

Find this publication at:
Qualitative Interviewing during the COVID-19 Pandemic Part 2: A Personal Reflection on Video & Telephone Int

Elise Howard describes her experiences conducting interviews with people in the Pacific region. It is hoped that these papers will be of use to those contemplating how to conduct research in the context of social distancing requirements, border closures and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Part 1 of this In Brief series highlights, existing research methods literature raises several concerns about telephone interviewing, including the potential for misunderstandings due to a lack of contextual clues; possible problems developing rapport and discussing sensitive topics with participants; and that telephone interviews may provide less depth than face-to-face interviewing. However, advantages with distance interviewing lie where there are potential power imbalances between researchers and their participants. In this In Brief, Elise reflects on these advantages and challenges and offer some practical considerations by sharing her experiences of conducting qualitative interviews at a distance with women located in New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Bougainville and urban and Highlands areas of Papua New Guinea. The interviews were undertaken for two different research projects relating to seasonal work and climate change that aimed to foreground women’s perspectives, as their voices are often absent from these literatures.

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