Sequencing is one way of combining qualitative and quantitative data by alternating between them. It relies on the validity of both qualitative and quantitative data collection options and times the use of each type of tool so that information gathered informs the development of the next set of tools and the overall progress of the research.
The choice of which type of sequencing to use will depend on your evaluation design. Here is a range of reasons for particular choices of timing:
- First qualitative data collection, then quantitative data collection
Qualitative outputs feeding into the design of quantitative instruments: Qualitative studies can be used to “map out” key issues and approaches to be explored further or to generate hypotheses to be tested using quantitative tools.
Building rapport: Participatory activities conducted prior to quantitative work, can generate rapport and a degree of confidence between participants and researchers.
- First quantitative data collection, then qualitative analysis
Analysis of quantitative outputs with qualitative tools: Qualitative tools can be used to test null hypotheses or investigate unexpected outcomes.
- First quantitative data collection, then qualitative data collection
An initial survey to identify clusters of similar cases, followed by in depth case studies of cases which represent the different cases
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