Information

Participate

A festival of diverse qualitative research perspectives

 

Date: 3-6 September 2024

 

Time: 08:30-17:00 (Tuesday to Thursday); 08:30-13:00 (Friday)

 

Venue: The Roots Lifestyle Centre Potchefstroom.

 

Registration: Contact Lynn Booysen (lynn.booysen@nwu.ac.za)

 

Cost of the festival: R5000.00 per person (for participants who register before 1 August 2024; R6000.00 (for participants who register after 1 August 2024). If you only want to register for one or two days, the cost is R1500.00 per day (Tuesday to Thursday); R750 (Friday)

 

Aim: The research festival aims to create a dynamic and inclusive platform that fosters the exchange of innovative methodologies and transformative practices in qualitative research and best practices associated with qualitative-based research. The festival seeks to democratise research, promote ethical considerations, and cultivate a collaborative environment for emerging and established researchers to share experiences and insights. This will ultimately contribute to advancing socially just and community-centred research practices.

 

Target group: We invite master’s and doctoral students, researchers, practitioners, community partners, and industry members interested in qualitative research to join us for an engaging and transformative qualitative research festival.

 

Program

 

Topic

Title

Presenter

1

Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

Prof. V. Roos

2

The application of Participatory Action Research to change conversations and sustain practices to enhance the promotion of health and well-being in South African school communities

Prof. A. Kitching

3

An observations framework for Forensic Accountancy

C. van Graan

4

Interviews and asking the right questions: A capability approach perspective

Dr E. Horn

5

Photovoice as a foundation to arts-based participative action-based research: Exploring a gateway to democratised research. (Two workshops)

Prof. L. Liebenberg

6

Youth resilience research: Lessons learned and opportunities for improvement

Prof. C. Wekerle

7

Mmogo method (Workshop)

Prof. V. Roos

8

Decolonising research: Implications for doing qualitative research

Prof. B. Ngwenya

9

Positive experiences in living with a chronic condition

Prof. E. Deacon

10

Submitting manuscripts to the Elsevier journals (Child Abuse & Neglect; Child Protection & Practice) (Workshop)

Prof. C. Wekerle and Prof. L. Theron

11a

Doing community-based research in the global south: The principals, hallmarks and what does it mean for us in the South African context

Dr T. Jefferis

11b

Experiences with community research work from a PhD student’s perspective

L. Gie

12

Community-based research: Taking a relook at ethical considerations and their outcomes. (Workshop)

Prof. M. Neethling and Dr T. Jefferis

13

Interactive Qualitative Analysis

Prof. K. Botha

14

Bonsaichology: Free tree therapy

Prof. C. Hermann

 

Detail: Presentations and Workshops

 

Topic 1: Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) – (Prof. V. Roos).

 

Questions

a.  Does Jonathan Smith’s interpretive phenomenological analysis shed light on the intricate relationship between subjective experiences and psychological understanding?

b. What unique approach does the interpretive phenomenological analysis offer to the lived experiences of individuals?

 

Abstract

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is a qualitative approach which aims to provide detailed examinations of personal lived experience. It produces an account of lived experience in its own terms rather than one prescribed by pre-existing theoretical preconceptions and it recognises that this is an interpretative endeavour as humans are sense-making organisms. It is explicitly idiographic in its commitment to examining the detailed experience of each case in turn, prior to the move to more general claims. IPA is a particularly useful methodology for examining topics which are complex, ambiguous and emotionally laden.

 

Topic 2: The application of Participatory Action Research to change conversations and sustain practices to enhance the promotion of health and well-being in South African school communities (Prof. A. Kitching)

 

Questions

aCould the application of participatory research approaches enhance the sustainability of school well-being interventions?

b. How could a PAR research approach facilitate a mindset shift away from a singular focus on academic achievement to ensure that schools become caring, inclusive environments in which well-being is incorporated?

 

Abstract

Despite policies and programmes, the promotion of health and well-being is not a priority in South African schools. Schools are not equipped to take responsibility for developing interventions to promote health and well-being. In this presentation, the application of a participatory action research approach to develop a sustainable process to enhance schools' capacity to take responsibility for promoting health and well-being in schools will be interrogated.

 

Topic 3: An observations framework for Forensic Accountancy (C. van Graan)

 

Questions

a. Would you like to know more about investigative interviewing research?

b. How do forensic accountants and investigators interact with suspects and witnesses?

 

Abstract

Investigators in South Africa did not apply a standard interviewing technique, so a new technique – containing a clear structure and rich interpersonal context – was born. This new framework facilitates the eliciting of useful information from interviewees, and unique qualitative approaches to research were used in developing it.

 

Topic 4: Interviews and asking the right questions: A capability approach perspective (Dr E. Horn)

 

Questions

aHow does the capability approach help us to understand the purpose of human connection and how it transpires in the workplace?

b. What unique contributions can a capability approach make to advance research on meaningful relationships at work?

 

Abstract

Interview questions are a pivotal extraction method for in-depth understanding of human functioning. The applied science of the capability approach can be achieved by pursuing three fundamental pathways of questioning regardless of the topic or concept. Besides using these pathways, exciting opportunities to contribute to knowledge development in establishing new pathways based on the capability approach are also open for exploration.

 

Topic 5 (Workshop): Photovoice as a foundation to arts-based participative action-based research (PAR): Exploring a gateway to democratised research. (Prof. L. Liebenberg)

 

Questions

a. What is Photovoice?

b. How can we use Photovoice to promote democratic knowledge production and mobilisation?

 

Abstract

As a grassroots PAR research method, photovoice “attempts to blend the principle of photography as a personal voice with the politics of photography as community voice to reach policy makers” (Wang, 2003, p. 181). Based on Paulo Freire’s theory of critical pedagogy, the underlying precepts of photovoice are that community participation, personal transformation and empowerment result in social change towards justice. Despite its popularity, photovoice is often integrated into studies with marginalised groups without critical consideration for its underpinnings or implications of use. A comprehensive understanding of the approach can support not only a richer and more democratic research process but can also form a rigorous foundation for working with other arts-based approaches. These approaches are critical in research contexts such as South Africa, where the decolonisation and democratisation of research are important. This workshop will introduce photovoice, elucidate the theory that informs it, set out the critical considerations of its use, and provide practical tips for successful projects. Additionally, it will highlight the ways in which other arts-based approaches can successfully build on this foundation. In addition to a strong theoretical foundation, participants will gain applied insights into the data-gathering process, data analysis with participants and participatory dissemination of research findings.

 

Topic 6: Youth resilience research: Lessons learned and opportunities for improvement (Prof. C. Wekerle)

 

Questions

a. What are the key lessons learned from prevention interventions targeting youth facing child adversity, and how have these insights shaped the design and implementation of future programs?

b. How can youth engagement and co-creation be effectively incorporated into intervention strategies, particularly in addressing dating relationships and emotion regulation among youth experiencing maltreatment and socioeconomic challenges?

 

Abstract

Prof. Christine Wekerle has been active in youth-focused research over the past 30+ years. Primarily working with youth experiencing child adversity, including child maltreatment, socioeconomic disadvantage, and mental health challenges, she has been a lead on two prevention interventions: one targeting dating relationships via group intervention and one targeting emotion regulation via all-mobile apps. Lessons learned, and opportunities for youth engagement and co-creation will be discussed with intervention examples. 

 

Topic 7 (Workshop): Mmogo Method (Prof. V. Roos)

 

Questions   

a. How does the Mmogo method help researchers uncover nuanced patterns within qualitative data collection?

b.  practical strategies does the Mmogo method apply to obtain rich and nuanced data to address research questions related to social meanings, theory development or interventions?

 

Abstract

“Mmogo" means togetherness in Setswana, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. The Mmogo-method is a flexible, projective visual data collection method that may be used independently or jointly with other data gathering techniques, such as journalling or in-depth interviewing, to acquire rich information. This method is particularly useful in cross-cultural contexts and across age groups, and by allowing visual expressions of the self as a complex, dynamic social system it overcomes some of the limitations of traditional data collection methods, such as questionnaires or interviews. The research method described enables researchers to access perceptions, feelings and personal experiences participants might find difficult to verbalize and explain. Researchers in disciplines such as education, social sciences, consumer sciences, market research, and city and town planning will find this book and its innovative method particularly valuable in addressing a gap in available visual and other data collection resources.

 

Topic 8: Decolonising research: Implications for doing qualitative research (Prof. B. Ngwenya).

 

Questions

a.  Is it possible to bring down the master’s house using the master’s tools? Audre Lorde

b. What is the possibility of decolonising research when using pre-existing colonial, Eurocentric paradigms created by Western scholars?

 

Abstract

Research is not a detached quest for knowledge. It is a process mediated by assorted and contested configurations, with power dynamics at the centre. Accordingly, it is clear that methodologies of qualitative research are embedded in contextualised philosophical assumptions about the social world, hence the increasing call for not only contextualising research methods but also promoting an ecology of knowledge. Academia has almost exclusively been focused on Western paradigms and approaches to research that appraises knowledge based on its provincial standards of reliability and validity. Consequently, this raises a series of questions on what/whose knowledge prevails in academia and is peripherised, as well as what/whose questions are asked and what may be the relationship between the observer and the observed. Decoloniality is therefore a response and method as much as it is an endeavour to open up spaces that enable transformed research processes characterised by inclusive knowledge and non-extractive research approaches from a Global South perspective. Central to the decolonial method is denaturalisation, while not totally excluding the Eurocentric worldview, to create a pluriverse, a sphere of many knowledges engaging on an equal basis and to open avenues for new insights from other philosophies through co-creation.

 

Topic 9: (Workshop) Positive experiences in living with a chronic condition (Prof. E. Deacon)

 

Questions

a. Is it possible to live positively with a chronic condition?

b. What lessons can be learned from youth living with type 1 diabetes?

 

Abstract

Most research articles on living with diabetes focus on emotional distress and hardships experienced by patients, but recently, a growing body of literature has shared a different perspective. In this workshop, I will focus on the patient’s experiences living with diabetes, often also including positive outcomes with negative experiences. The following topics will be covered: a) A day in the life of living with T1D (some info on diabetes and diabetes management); b) Sharing experiences (common themes of emotional distress); c) Creating a different narrative (the role of illness perception and meaning-making), and d) Let’s get practical (sharing interventions, practical guidelines)

 

Topic 10: (Workshop): Submitting manuscripts to the Elsevier journals (Child Abuse & Neglect; Child Protection & Practice) – (Prof. C. Wekerle and Prof. L. Theron)

 

Questions

a. What lessons can be learnt from guidelines and best practices for submitting to high-quality journals such as Child Abuse & Neglect and Child Protection & Practice?

b. What tips for manuscript preparation and successful submission are available?

 

Abstract

This workshop will include specific pointers on how to write qualitative research for journal publication. Emerging researchers and authors who aspire to publish in high-quality journals such as Child Abuse & Neglect and Child Protection & Practice may find this discussion particularly useful.

 

Topic 11: Doing community-based research in the global south: The principles, hallmarks and what it means for us in South Africa (Dr T. Jefferis).

 

Questions

a. Are you interested in doing research that matters with and for people?

b. What is the value of community-based research approaches in the promotion of community resilience in South Africa?

 

Abstract

Community-based research (CBR) approaches are informed by the principles of participatory action research and are focused on local knowledge production both with and for the community. The hallmarks of CBR involve asking critical questions around community relevance, equitable participation, and measurable change or impact. Collaborative partnerships with communities as co-researchers are essential to the success of CBR projects. In this presentation I critically reflect on implementing CBR research projects in the Global South, using critical reflections from a steering committee including community patterns, students, and academic researchers. From these critical reflections, I propose ways to utilise the potential of CBR approaches to promote community resilience. In the second part of this presentation, Lowna Gie will share experiences with community research work from a PhD student’s perspective.

 

Topic 12: (Workshop): Community-based research: Taking a relook at ethical considerations and their outcomes (Prof. M. Neethling and Dr T. Jefferis)

 

Questions

a. Are you interested in doing research that matters with and for people?

b. What is the value of community-based research approaches in the promotion of community resilience in South Africa?

 

Abstract

Community-based research (CBR) approaches are informed by the principles of participatory action research and are focused on local knowledge production both with and for the community. The hallmarks of CBR involve asking critical questions about community relevance, equitable participation, and measurable change or impact. Collaborative partnerships with communities as co-researchers are essential to the success of CBR projects. In this presentation, we critically reflect on implementing CBR research projects in the Global South, using critical reflections from a steering committee including community patterns, students, and academic researchers. From these critical reflections, we propose ways to utilise the potential of CBR approaches to promote community resilience.

 

Topic 13: Interactive Qualitative Analysis (Prof. K. Botha)

 

Questions

a. Would you like to know more about Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA), a creative multimethod approach to research?

b. What are the key concepts and steps involved in IQA?

c. What are the advantages of this multimethod research approach?

 

Abstract

IQA is based on the principles of systems theory, action research, grounded theory, and concept mapping. The aim of IQA is to develop a hypothetical model showing the perception and experience of a specific phenomenon, for example, employees’ experience of stress and burnout in their work setting. The outcome of an IQA approach is a visual representation of how phenomena interact, based on rigorous deductive and inductive scientific rules. This presentation introduces the key theory and processes of IQA

 

Topic 14: (Workshop) Bonsaichology: Free tree therapy (Prof C. Hermann)

 

Questions

a. Are you interested in novel nature / expressive art therapies?

b. Would you like to know more about the eastern art of bonsai?

 

Abstract

Bonsai is an Eastern art form that originated in China, spread to Japan, and is practised all over the world today. More recently, bonsai has been used as a therapeutic tool in a clinical setting, which offers self-help and job-creation opportunities. This workshop offers a practical introduction to the art of bonsai and bonsaichology. Both participants and observants welcome. Should you wish to participate, please bring a pair of gardening gloves (if you prefer) as well as secateurs or a pair of scissors. You are welcome to bring your own tree. Alternatively, a tree will be provided – if this option is preferred, participants are not allowed to take the tree home afterwards. During the workshop, you will be introduced to the art of bonsai, styling, and care of trees. Trees will not be repotted, but you will be referred to website (or clubs in your area) to assist you with this part of bonsai practice. There will also be a short presentation on the philosophy of “free tree therapy – aka as bonsaichology”.

 

About the Presenters

 

Vera Roos is a Professor in the Ageing and Generational Dynamics in Africa (AGenDA) programme in the Optentia Research Unit at the North-West University and an Affiliate Research Fellow of the Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford. As a socio-gerontologist, she focuses on relational experiences and, from a community psychology perspective, on the contributions of older individuals in challenged contexts. Vera presented her research on enabling interpersonal contexts, loneliness, friendship, and intergenerational relations at national and international conferences, and has published widely, including three edited books. Vera developed the Mmogo-method®, a projective visual data-collection tool to enable research participation despite age, language, or cultural barriers. Findings from this visual method informed the development of a relational theory, Self-Interactional Group Theory (SIGT). Her commitment to promoting the well-being of older people prompted the development of an information and communication eDirectory system, Yabelana, with context-specific information for use on smart and older-generation mobile phone devices.

 

Prof. Ansie Elizabeth Kitching holds a BA, HED, (University of the Free State) BED Hons (Psych), MEd Psych (University of Pretoria), and a PhD in Psychology (North-West University). She was employed in Higher Education contexts since 1996, including, the University of Stellenbosch (1996 – 2003), North-West University (2004 -2018), and The University of the Western Cape (2019- 2022).  She is currently extraordinary professor in Educational Psychology at the University of the Western Cape and an extraordinary professor in Optentia, at the North-West University.  Her teaching experience includes lecturing in inclusive education, developmental psychology, learning support and community psychology. The training of counselling theory and practice in BED Honours programs has been the main focus of her work.  Her research focuses on the co-construction of caring, supportive, and inclusive environments and is informed by participatory research approaches, the principles and values of community psychology, and theories that explain the complexity of human relating and interacting. She developed a Holistic School Wellbeing process to develop schools’ capacity to promote health and wellbeing from a broader perspective. She currently collaborates with non-profit organisations and the Department of Basic Education to facilitate the mainstreaming of Care and Support for Teaching and Learning in the SADC region.  She supervised 22 postgraduate students (18 M and 4 PhD) to completion. She has published extensively on her research in scholarly journals and books. 

 

Constant van Graan is Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of Forensic Accountancy at the North-West University (NWU). He worked as a fraud investigator at Ernst and Young, before venturing into academia in 2014. He recently completed his PhD in Relational Dynamics and Development and is a registered Commercial Forensic Practitioner. Constant specialises in investigative interviewing, including forensic interviewing techniques, relational dynamics during interviewing, abnormal psychology, its influence on forensic interviewing, and relevant forensic legal aspects (including criminal law). His newly developed interviewing technique for investigators, the Ponaletso CFI framework, is currently in its pilot phase and is expected to be rolled out to various forensic role-players in South Africa.

 

Dr Elette Horn completed a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Professional courtesy and positive energy, combined with a persevering and hard-working attitude, drive my daily work as an industrial psychologist, lecturer, and researcher. My passion for people and their empowerment, helping them realise their value and destiny – describes my higher purpose. Every industry I’ve experienced over the past 17 years, i.e. legal, energy, petroleum, and education, has equipped me with a unique skillset as I’ve seized the opportunities offered, overcame the challenges faced (and still do), and consistently aim to deliver and optimise processes and services I’m responsible for. I have a successful track record in managing psychometric assessment centres and career psychology portfolios in multidisciplinary teams and large organisations. Enrolling for and obtaining my PhD provided a platform for lifelong valued learning in the capability approach – a theoretical perspective bursting with opportunities and invitations to explore, build on, and delve deep into the functioning of an individual.

 

Prof. Linda Liebenberg (PhD) is a leading researcher, evaluator and consultant in the field of resilience and community development, with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores how best to provide meaningful programs and resources that promote of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal processes of resilience. She achieves this through consultation on program and community development, conducting evaluations of service provision, and doing research with youth and their communities. As a key component of this work, Linda reflects critically on the best ways in which to conduct research and evaluations with children and their communities (including multiple service providers). These approaches include participatory image-based methods; sophisticated longitudinal quantitative designs; and the design of measurement instruments.

 

Blessed Ngwenya is an Associate Professor in the Optentia Research Unit at North-West University, South Africa. He is the Director of Inclusion and Decolonial Praxis, a programme that focuses on research on enhancing the capabilities of diverse individuals, groups, and institutions. Prof. Ngwenya, who graduated with a DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, has worked on inclusivity, diversity, decoloniality and sustainability projects, including Decoloniality and Health with the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. He has worked at the University of the Witwatersrand, UNISA, and the Vaal University of Technology. Prof. Ngwenya is a founder member of the Africa Decolonial Network (ADERN), an advisory board member of the Print and Digital Media Transformation Committee that drafts the Communication Transformation Sector Code, and he advises the Minister in the Presidency on media sustainability in South Africa. He started his journey in mentorship and supervision in 2020 and has supervised five master’s and three PhD candidates to completion. Prof. Ngwenya’s work includes a recent book entitled Media Power and Hegemony in South Africa: The Myth of Independence (Routledge, 2021) and a forthcoming book titled Against Modernity: The ‘Triple Exclusion’ and the Invention of Poverty in Africa.

 

Elmari Deacon is registered as a clinical psychologist and a psychology professor. She obtained the following degrees from the North-West University: PhD (2008); MA Clinical Psychology (Cum Laude) (2001); BA Honours Psychology (Cum Laude) (1999); and BCom Industrial Psychology (Cum Laude) (1998. Prof Deacon started working as a student counsellor and part-time lecturer at the PU for CHE (Vaal campus) in April 2002. She is the acting director of the School of Psychosocial Health. In 2017, Prof Deacon started to work on the topic of psychosocial variables in diabetes management and has since supervised several studies on diabetes management and health psychology. Prof Deacon has been a study leader for 20 master’s studies and one PhD study. She is the supervisor of four M studies and three PhD studies.

 

Chris Wekerle (PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an associate member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. With a background in clinical psychology, she specialises in the broad area of gender, relationship violence and health. Areas of focus include adolescent dating violence and prevention, youth resilience, child maltreatment and its related impairment in mental health and addictions. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Child Abuse & Neglect, co-editor-in-chief of the open-access journal Child Protection and Practice, and founder of the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience. Dr Wekerle’s program of research encompasses the areas of parenting and the prevention of family violence, including child welfare populations and particularly adolescents who are receiving child protection services and their outcomes across physical, mental, and financial health domains. Her recent work involves child maltreatment, sexual violence victimization on male youth, and includes the development of an app (JouPop) to support daily functioning.

 

Linda Theron is a full Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria and an extraordinary Professor at Optentia Research Unit, North-West University. She is also an associate editor of the Child Abuse & Neglect| Journal of Adolescent Research. She is a leading expert in resilience research, particularly within the context of South African youth facing adversity. Prof. Theron has published widely in international journals and is an editor of key resilience-focused publications. Prof Theron is a registered educational psychologist.

 

Dr Tamlyn Jefferis is a lecturer at the North-West University. Her research interest is in resilience. She wants to understand how young South African girls cope well with risk filled lives. She is also interested in exploring resilience in the face of ambiguous loss - not only to understand resilience processes, but to understand how those processes are shaped by context, culture, and gender.

 

Marinda Neethling is an Associate professor and subject chair of learner support / inclusive education at the Unit for Open Distance learning on the Potchefstroom Campus, NWU. Her research and teaching-learning philosophy focuses on community engagement research in ECCE through a participatory lens to enhance practical and contextual teaching and learning to encourage sustainable transformation in education. Her vision and mission are to develop self-efficacy in practitioners, teachers, students, and herself to enable us all to become lifelong critical but positive innovative thinkers in our lines of expertise.

 

Karel Botha is an associate professor and the acting deputy director of the School of Psychosocial Health at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) in South Africa. He is a registered clinical psychologist with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa. His research focuses on self-regulation as a psychological strength; he is the project leader of a research project titled The Nature and Dynamics of Self-regulation as Psychological Strength in South African Health Contexts. He is a C2-rated researcher with the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

 

Caroll Hermann is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychosocial Health at the North-West University (Mahikeng Campus). She holds a doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Zululand and is registered as a clinical psychologist at the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Prof. Hermann has experience and knowledge of research in psychology and community outreach. Her research interests include, among others, the broad field of Psychology and Community interventions; ecopsychology, terminal lucidity and health and practices within the context of community interventions and preventions; and clinical psychology. She has successfully supervised postgraduate students, acted as external examiner of postgraduate studies, and moderated external examinations and modules. Prof. Hermann has published in accredited peer-reviewed journals and serves on the journal's review board. She is also a co-author of chapters in a Community Psychology textbook.