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This research project is aiming to identify and critically evaluate the gap in nutritional status of indigenous population and communities of Thailand like Sanephong community which is a Karen community of Thailand. Sanephong community which is a Karen community is living approximately 368 kilometers from Bangkok in Kanchanaburi province. These are native indigenous populations of Thailand which are very strongly connected with their traditional customs, values and food practices. One of the drawbacks of ancient food practices is that they might not be equally effective in maintaining nutritional balance among adolescents and young children which can cause malnourishment. Some of the contributing factors for such development is poor access to safe water, lack of food processing, food perceptions and beliefs they might hold which keeps the nutritional level low (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005).
Aims and Objectives
To achieve better nutritional status among children of Sanephong Karen community of Thailand in a period of 6 months
1. To disseminate information about sufficient nutritional intake for children and impart better understanding about nutritional status of a food product.
2. To modify health care behavior of target population considering their food preferences and cultural sensitivities.
3. To ensure that modification strategies work in synchronization with food preferences and do not violate their cultural beliefs and values regarding food.
On the basis of aim and objective of this research study following research questions are prepared.
1. Why indigenous population of Thailand have a higher than national average mal nourishment prevalence.
2. What are their food habits and preferences and how they are impacting their nutrition level.
3. What are the ways through which this gap can be reduced and improvements can be made in nourishment levels?
A research methodology can be explained as the chronological set of activities which is executed by a research scholar to meet the research aims and objectives. This research project would be a qualitative mixed research study which will have both primary and secondary research in it. Primary research of the project would have semi structured interview as the data collection tool. This will help in gaining the required data for analysis and final interpretations. Semi structured interview has been chosen as the primary tool of data collection because it complements the chosen qualitative approach where subjective phenomenon are discussed.Total 100 females would be interviewed for this research study out of which half would be female care givers and from local community and half would be young a comparative evaluation would be done between the responses which are gained from both the groups on similar questions (Sandelowski, 2000).
Target audience of this research study would be young mothers and primary care givers of a family. The reason why this particular population of society is chosen as target audience because they are the primary influencers and decision makers on what kind of food is to be provided to the young children. Educating them and modifying their health behavior would bring the desired results in a fast manner.
Sampling in this research project would be done through simple random sampling method and there would be no other bias in selection from target population regarding education, employment or financial status. All the females of the target population who meet the criteria of being mother to a young kid or her care giver would have equal probability of being selected. Sample size would be kept at 100 which will represent the target population.Once sampling is done then selected samples would be briefed about the further developments of the research project and the role they are going to play in it (Saunders, et al 2012).
Data Collection Tool
Interview is the data collection tool of choice here. Target audience of this research study might not be able to answer the questions properly in a questionnaire because most of the questions would be subjective in nature and they can’t be expressed in numerical manner accurately. Interview would be more comfortable for them if the interviewee would speak their language or belong to the Thai culture. There are certain limitations also associated with interviews like they would be a complex and time consuming process and they would also increase the expenditure on research project.A semi structured interview would have broad themes and some open ended questions and response on each question would guide what the next question would be to ask from the sample. An unstructured interview would just have one broad theme and general topic and on the basis of that topic only entire interview is conducted and whatever information is gained is recorded and respondent is not guided in any manner. An unstructured interview can be of use in pure exploratory or experimental studies where scholar has no notion about the possible outcome at all (Creswell, 2008).
Time Line and Project Evaluation
This entire project would be for 6 months and after completion of 6 months a comparative evaluation would be done among same variables in a period of 6 months. This evaluation would provide details on improvements made over the period of time. This evaluation would also provide a monitoring and feedback system on the research project and methodology. If there are any changes needed in the project approach it can be identified from there.
Primary limitation is the lack of access to the female target audience and difficulty in getting required information from them. Incorporation of subjectivity and small sample size are other limitations which might be present with this research project (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005).
In conclusion it can be said that this research study has a huge scope and it is required that such studies should be done using a larger sample size to assess the impact in a better manner. A proposal is a blue print of a research project which provides information on what can be expected from the research study results. Variables which will be guiding sampling in this research project are gender of the target audience, community, their experience as an mother or care giver(Cohen, et al. 2003).
Creswell, J. (2008) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications,
Saunders, M. Lewis P. And Thornhill A., (2012). Research Methods for Business Students, 6 th edition Pearson.
Sandelowski, M.(2000), Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Sampling, Data Collection, and Analysis Techniques in Mixed-Method Studies, Research in Nursing & Health, vol.23, no.3, pp.246-255
Ghauri, P. and Gronhaug, K. (2005) Research Methods in Business Studies (3rd ed.). Prentice Hall: Financial Times.
Cohen, L., Manion, L.and Morrison, K. (2003) Research Methods in Education (5th Edition revised). London: Routledge.