Rapid Situation Analysis: a hybrid, multi-methods, qualitative, participatory approach to researching tourism development phenomena
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This study develops a hybrid, bottom-up approach to field research, namely Rapid Situation Analysis, and implements it in Ghana. It draws on elements from two existing participatory methodological approaches: Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural Appraisal. The approach was developed to suit the particular needs of investigating corporate social responsibility practices, sustainable development and poverty reduction through tourism, a fragmented sector which tends to be ambiguous and unstructured and lack cohesion (unlike, for example, agriculture or primary health care, both of which are familiar territory for Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural Appraisal). The Rapid Situation Analysis bottom-up approach to data gathering was underpinned by supporting methods, including participant and direct observation, in-depth interviews, stakeholder focus groups and informal conversations. Moreover, the multiple methods were further enriched by the collection of visual data in the form of moving and still images. These research findings were fed back to the communities at the centre of the research.