Sometimes qualitative research can be inspiring. For me, it has usually been in the midst of a focus group when a participant makes a comment and the light bulb goes off. At those moments I nearly gasp with delight and wonder at the insight gained. This is inspiring but in a totally different way.
This post includes two articles. The first is a background article from Reuters. The second is from MindaNews at www.Mindanews.com on how Mindanao residents plan to use qualitative research as a tool for peace. It makes me wonder about more ways to use qual for good.
The Philippine government’s decades long confrontation with Muslim separatists on the southern island of Mindanao and a second conflict with communist insurgents across the country have left 160,000 dead and displaced up to 2 million people.
- 700,000 uprooted in 2008 fighting
- More than a third of population live in poverty
- Mindanao situation attracts Islamic extremists
The Mindanao conflict first flared in the 1960s when the Muslim minority – known as the Moros – launched an armed struggle for their ancestral homeland in the south.
But the campaign for self-rule is not the only source of bloodshed on Mindanao. There has also been a long Maoist insurgency, violence linked to militant Islamist groups with pan-Asian aspirations, bloody ethnic vendettas, clan wars and banditry.
Fighting escalated in 2008 after a decade-long peace process between the government and rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) collapsed.
Politics and religion aside, much of the violence is fuelled by deep poverty rooted in decades of under-investment.