Quantitative research methods in European


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Research Pro Forma Assignment


Student’s Name

Professor’s Name

Institution Affiliation



                              RESEARCH PRO FORMA ASSIGNMENT

Part A: Qualitative vs Quantitative Debate

The Strength and Weakness of Qualitative vs Quantitative

Each researcher has his/her reason for picking which method to apply to their research; these reasons may include research timeframe, type of data required, and to justify or reject the research hypothesis (Bryman, 2016). Some of the strengths of qualitative research might be weaknesses of the quantitative research study. Some scholars have claimed that there is nothing like qualitative research. In contrast, others have stated that the two research methods need to complement each other because quantitative data are concerned with numbers and primarily deductive (Bryman, 2016). Qualitative data involves words and is majorly inductive (Bowling, 2014). Therefore, it opens for a debate to settle the emerging controversial opinions regarding these research methodologies.

The qualitative research study’s proponent states that there is no hypothesis required to begin research, and the researcher is not compelled by the study as an objective observer (Arghode, 2012). Still, they can learn abundantly about the presenting situation by participating or getting immersed in the situation, making it very flexible (Yadav et al., 2017). Moreover, quantitative research mostly compels respondents into categories that might not suit them to create meaning (Queirós, Faria & Almeida, 2017). The study requires extra resources to conduct, and simple errors in the calculation of data can result in misinterpretation, leading to the unsuitability of the information obtained (Benner, 2019).

On the other hand, quantitative protagonists argue that qualitative research focuses closely on individual results to fail to make connections to the vast situation and possible results causes (‌Morgan, 2016). They further state that quantitative research requires a hypothesis. The researcher is the ideal objective observer; the study’s topic cannot be influenced by the influences and study participants, enabling analysis to stick to the study objectives (O’Connor & Joffe, 2020). Moreover, every qualitative information can be coded quantitatively; every qualitative can get assigned meaningful numerical values, which can get manipulated to help individuals gain an in-depth insight into data meaning and help examine the particular hypothesis.

Depending on the above debate, both the research methods are suitable depending on the research topic. According to my research topic, qualitative research will best suit it.

One of the reasons why qualitative research fits this topic is that the method considers the human experience (Smith & Firth, 2011). There are many experiences that young girls go through during the menstrual circles that can only be captured through qualitative research. Quantitative research, on the other hand, only captures quantities and not experiences.

Another advantage of qualitative research that makes it suitable for this research is that it is flexible since data does not have to be forced into certain categories to draw meaning (Yates & Leggett, 2016). The researcher of the topic gains the freedom to explore the topic in fullness without the fear that the data collected will not fit into certain classes. This helps to improve the quality of the results.

Qualitative analysis also allows conclusions specific to a certain topic to be drawn (Yates & Leggett, 2016). Unlike quantitative data, whereby certain distributions and models are used across industries, specific topics can be explored fully with qualitative analysis.

Part B – Research Pro Forma

Title- Research Proposal on Menstrual Hygiene Management in India

Proposed Dissertation Path

The proposed dissertation path follows the research rationale, themes in the literature review, aims and objectives, and the chosen research method/s.

Project Type: External

Research Aim:

The study aims to recommend to India the best practices that should be adopted to improve its female population’s menstrual hygiene management practices and put women and adolescent girls in a better position to achieve their full potential.


  • To establish an understanding of the concept of menstrual hygiene management among the Indian population.
  • To describe the different parties that are responsible for menstrual hygiene management in India.
  • To estimate how the involved parties should work together to ensure that menstrual hygiene is observed in India.

To explain what extra efforts need to be put in if menstrual hygiene management in India will be successful.

Academic Rationale for the Study


Menstruation is a natural process that many women and young girls in developing economies like in most India cannot have control over. An absorbent material is used to collect the blood that results from the process. Frequent changes are necessary for each menstrual cycle. Menstrual management hygiene involves the proper use of the absorbent material and their proper disposal (Delaney et al., 2017, p.222). There is a lack of awareness of the importance of hygiene in the middle- and lower-income economies.

In many low-income societies, the absorbent material used is substandard, and they include reusable towels of poor-quality pads. Therefore, there is the need for more culturally acceptable, practical and sustainable methods of dealing with menstrual hygiene management in such societies (Vashisht et al., 2018, p.169). Some of the negative impacts associated with the current state of menstrual hygiene management include lack of awareness in the girls, which leads to them having fear, shame, anxiety, and negative feelings about themselves. During disasters, access to menstrual hygiene management facilities becomes inaccessible (Garg & Anand, 2015, p.192).

The Indian society has shown very clear characteristics of gender unequal society. For instance, the literacy rate in women is 55%, while in men, it is 78%. 50% of women are underweight due to lack of access to health facilities. Women also earn lower wages than their male counterparts (Muralidharan, Patil, & Patnaik, 2015, p82). The lack of equality affects the ability of women to manage their lives, such as their menstrual health.

Of the 355 million women in India, only a few can access decent menstrual hygiene management. About 71% of the girls in the country are not equipped with the knowledge to know about menstrual health (Mason et al., 2017, p.183). The taboo of the c in Indian society is one of the catalysts of the lack of this knowledge among women

Even though menstrual hygiene is one of the vital hygiene factors according to various health and education stakeholders, females between the age of menarche and menopause are still experiencing menstrual hygiene management challenges among the developing countries, especially in India (Bay, 2017). This is because Indians do not prioritize girl children as they do boy child. Most families come from a low and middle-class background; thus, they cannot adjust their expenditure to cater to menstrual absorption. Quantitative data has indicated that about sixty-eight million girls attend schools with pathetic WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) facilities within schools (Elledge et al., 2018). Such conditions have led to increased school dropout among girls because they fear humiliation resulting from menstrual blood leaking and the bad odour smell.

The study will be a qualitative one aiming to increase knowledge regarding menstrual hygiene management challenges and education around the perceived needs of menstruating girls or women in their daily lives from stakeholder perspectives.

Themes in the Literature Review:

  • Menstrual Health Management Background
  • Gender Inequality in India
  • Menstrual Health Problem in India
  • Enablers for Enhanced Menstrual Health in India


The study will employ a systematic qualitative review of published journals in the last ten years that touch on the MHM in developing countries, especially India. The articles will be sieved to enable fetching relevant and precise data to help build a proper understanding of MHM in India (Holtrop, Rabin & Glasgow, 2018). Three search engines like Google will be identified, then text-based queries and index terms like MHM, emerging nations, and India will be searched on the already identified search engines. The search will be limited to those articles published from 2011 to date, and those data having women within the menstrual period will be used. Credible health journal databases such as Medline and science direct will be utilized. The databases have high-quality articles on menstrual health and health sciences in general.


Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative and Review Instrument (JBI-QARI) will be used to assess the studies’ quality to determine those studies’ weaknesses and strengths and explain further how each study might impact the study finding (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2018). Also, the tool will enable sources critical appraisal and generate an aggregate score. Each study will be assigned an appropriate level to research questions to facilitate coding and understand the body of evidence nature (Kim, Sefcik & Bradway, 2017). A theme matrix will be created to cover the large scholarly materials obtained to identify the distribution of common themes among them.

Data analysis and synthesis will involve four steps; in-depth reading of the paper to minimize errors, the second step will be coding of the finding in line-by-line (Vass, Rigby & Payne, 2017). The third step will be the assembling of codes depending on their meaning similarity. The final step will be an interpretation of higher-order analytical themes.
















Reference List






A Rhode, V., 2012. Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Paradigmatic Differences. Global Education Journal2012(4).

Bay, SA (2017). Moving Toward a Holistic Menstrual Hygiene Management: An Anthropological Analysis of Menstruation and Practices in Western and Non-Western Societies. menstrualhygieneday.org, 2019, menstrual hygiene management, Retrieved from, https://menstrualhygieneday.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SHARE_-MHM_policybrief_2017.pdf

Benner, M. (2019). M PRA Munich Personal RePEc Archive From overtourism to sustainability: A research agenda for qualitative tourism development in the Adriatic, viewed 3 March 2021, <https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/214011208.pdf>

Bowling, A., 2014. Research methods in health: investigating health and health services. McGraw-hill Education (UK).

Bradbury-Jones, C., Isham, L., & Taylor, J. (2018). The complexities and contradictions in participatory research with vulnerable children and young people: A qualitative systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 215, 80-91.

Bryman, A., 2016. Social research methods. Oxford university press.

Delaney, M.M., Maji, P., Kalita, T., Kara, N., Rana, D., Kumar, K., Masoinneuve, J., Cousens, S., Gawande, A.A., Kumar, V. and Kodkany, B., 2017. Improving adherence to essential birth practices using the WHO safe childbirth checklist with peer coaching: experience from 60 public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India. Global Health: Science and Practice5(2), pp.217-231

Elledge, M.F., Muralidharan, A., Parker, A., Ravndal, K.T., Siddiqui, M., Toolaram, A.P. & Woodward, K.P. (2018). Menstrual hygiene management and waste disposal in low and middle-income Countries—A review of the literature. International journal of environmental research and public health15(11), p.2562.

Garg, S., and Anand, T., 2015. Menstruation related myths in India: strategies for combating it. Journal of family medicine and primary care4(2), p.184.

Goodburn, C., 2014. Rural-urban migration and gender disparities in child healthcare in China and India. Development and Change45(4), pp.631-655.

Holtrop, J.S., Rabin, B.A. & Glasgow, R.E. (2018). Qualitative approaches to use of the RE-AIM framework: rationale and methods. BMC health services research18(1), pp.1-10.

Kim, H., Sefcik, J.S. & Bradway, C. (2017). Characteristics of qualitative descriptive studies: A systematic review. Research in nursing & health40(1), pp.23-42.

Mason, L., Sivakami, M., Thakur, H., Kakade, N., Beauman, A., Alexander, K.T., van Eijke, A.M., Laserson, K.F., Thakkar, M.B. and Phillips-Howard, P.A., 2017. ‘We do not know’: a qualitative study exploring boys’ perceptions of menstruation in India. Reproductive health14(1), p.174.

Morgan, D. L. (2018). Living within blurry boundaries: The value of distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 12(3), 268-279.

Muralidharan, A., Patil, H., and Patnaik, S., 2015. Unpacking the policy landscape for menstrual hygiene management: implications for school Wash programs in India. Waterlines, pp.79-91

O’Connor, C., & Joffe, H. (2020). Intercoder Reliability in Qualitative Research: Debates and Practical Guidelines. International Journal of Qualitative Methods19, 160940691989922. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406919899220

Queirós, A., Faria, D. and Almeida, F., 2017. Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies.

Smith, J., & Firth, J. (2011). Qualitative data analysis: the framework approach. Nurse researcher18(2), pp.52-62.

Vashisht, A., Pathak, R., Agarwalla, R., Patavegar, B.N., and Panda, M., 2018. School absenteeism during menstruation amongst adolescent girls in Delhi, India. Journal of family & community medicine25(3), p.163.

Vass, C., Rigby, D., & Payne, K. (2017). The role of qualitative research methods in discrete choice experiments: a systematic review and survey of authors. Medical Decision Making37(3), pp.298-313.

wins4girls.org, (2020), menstrual hygiene management, Retrieved from, http://www.wins4girls.org/resources/2016%20Pakistan%20Baluchistan%20MHM%20formative%20research.pdf

Yates, J., & Leggett, T. (2016). Qualitative research: An introduction. Radiologic Technology, 88(2), 225-231.

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