Survey Research Designs Incorporating Data Dummying: The What and How of a Strategy for Studying Environment Security?


Survey research incorporating data dummying is an acceptable research design for studying environment-security issues from primary data in socio-politically polarized societies where this is problematic. The question is, but why? The simplest answer is that many members of the study populations do not cooperate in giving required information because of security apprehensions. One solution to this problem is maximizing the usefulness of data provided through data dummying. The topic of the research described in this methods case was of interest because it promised to extend the knowledge on and to suggest a solution to the problem of social inequality and its attendant urban insecurity. The decision to design the research as a survey was contingent on the geographical spread of the population that formed the sampling frame. The essence was to identify how socio-spatial territoriality was implicated on urban insecurity, residential fencing, and house gating in Ilorin, Nigeria. In the research design and context, inequality was conceptualized as socio-spatial polarization and insecurity as criminal victimization. The research practicalities that had to be considered included designing a systematic sampling protocol. Responses to absence of expected participants and non-cooperation included repeated visits and sampling the next building, respectively. The dummying took place through the research instrument design that incorporated relevant questions on a sampled building and its next neighbors that were not sampled. Major practical lessons learnt include strategies for circumventing barriers to primary data collection and doubling data size through instrument design in survey researches.

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