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Conducting Focus Group Discussion in Africa: Researching the Nexus Between the State and Election Administration

By: Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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This case study is an example of qualitative research using focus group discussion to examine how the State (its institutions and officials) affects the conduct and management of elections, particularly the nexus between State’s handling of elections and how this affects its integrity and credibility in Africa within the context of democratization. In this case study, I discuss my research process beginning with the choice of methodologies, the method adopted (focus group discussion), and how it guided me in answering my research questions. I bring readers into the research process, including confidence building, gaining access to stakeholders and challenges encountered, and how I dealt with them. Given that this is a pedagogical tool, this case will help other researchers and students learn how to carry out research projects related to politics and elections, choose and use methods, recognize challenges, and develop solutions as they design and carry out their projects in Africa.

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