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Qualitative Research in Population Studies

Chair (s) 
Inge Hutter (University of Groningen)
Monique Marcelle Hennink (Emory University)
Ernestina Coast (London School of Economics)
Charles Nzioka (University of Nairobi)
Mahesh Puri (CREHPA)
Council Liaison 
Tom Moultrie (University of Cape Town)
IUSSP Secretariat 
Paul Monet (International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP))
Terms of Reference: 

There has been a significant increase in the use qualitative methods in population studies, particularly for understanding the social and cultural context of core population issues. The integration of qualitative methods into population studies, a largely quantitative discipline, is extremely valuable yet it remains challenging.


The purpose of this scientific panel is to highlight core and emerging issues for qualitative research in population studies and promote rigor of qualitative research within population studies. The Panel will use the research process as a framework for its activities by identifying specific areas that remain challenging for qualitative research within population studies. The Panel will then develop a variety of activities that advance scientific scholarship and contribute to capacity development, including by setting up discussion forums to exchange ideas on these specific issues.


Specific focus will be placed on gaps in scientific capacity within the research process including: developing effective qualitative research proposals; longitudinal qualitative research and mixed methods research design; development of field training materials; and the field application of qualitative methods. Attention will also be given to a range of cross-cutting issues that apply throughout the research process, such as: ethical challenges in qualitative research; quality of qualitative research; and exploring new technologies for qualitative research in population studies.



1.Survey of Students on Qualitative Research Training in Demography. 
Student conference, POPFEST, June 27-29 2011.

2.Literature Review on Qualitative Research in Population Studies. 

3.Panel Session at the 2013 IUSSP Conference in Busan, Korea. 

4.Resource Guide for Qualitative Research. 

5.Expert Sessions for Research Students at Population Conferences. 

  • One-to-one meetings with research students at POPFEST (2011, Groningen) and EPC (2012, Stockholm).  

6.Master-Classes on Mixed Methods Research. 

  • Side-meeting at EAPS June 2012 in Stockholm. 


7.Dialogue on Qualitative Analysis Software. 


8.Publishers Products on Qualitative Research Methods.