Supply Chain Analysis for Rural Sanitation Products and Services in Lao pdr


Methodology Data Collection Methods



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Methodology

  1. Data Collection Methods


Preliminary field visits to two provinces were conducted in December 2013. The aim was to better understand supply chain issues and the businesses of potential interviewees for the field work. Bokeo (north) and Savannakhet (central) were visited. In both provinces, the research team met with relevant government officials at both the provincial and district level, and then conducted meetings with supply chain actors from the private sector. The meetings included all types of actors in the Lao PDR supply chain including importers, wholesalers, retailers, providers of transportation services, concrete and brick producers and masons. These meetings were semi-structured interviews.

After the training of research teams and the development and testing of the research tools (in collaboration with the Studies’ sponsors), field research took place over five weeks during March and April 2014. Some additional meetings and informal discussions in Vientiane took place in May 2014.

During the field research, EMC made use of three different means of data collection: key informant interviews; quantitative data collection through in-depth interviews; and qualitative data collection through focus group discussions.

EMC has found that in-depth interviews yield results that are better able to capture business economics and do not suffer from inconsistencies in data definition. Confidence in data arising is achieved through: i) knowledgeable informants answering fact-based questions; ii) high quality interactions with the researcher; iii) triangulation between several informants and follow-up on discrepancies; and iv) utilizing interviewers with good technical understanding of the subject matter.

Table 3: Field work methodology overview

Methodology


Main Activities


Interviewee / Respondent Profile


Number of interviews

Key informant interviews

(all in Vientiane)




Conducting unstructured interviews with key informants to understand specific issues affecting the supply chain, such as customs duty, taxation, transportation costs, and finance.

  • Organisation involved in sanitation marketing: PSI

  • Private business owners: Lao Cement

  • Commercial bank: ACLEDA Bank

  • Government owned bank: Nayobay Bank

  • Government of Lao PDR: Department of Customs and Department of Tax

  • Local importer of sanitation products

  • A logistics/transport company

8

Quantitative data collection

Conducting surveys (in-depth one to one interviews) with market actors in the seven provinces (20 districts) with standardized questionnaire designed in Phase 2
Attempted to interview at least one actor type in every district


Market actors along the sanitation supply chain:

  • Construction materials’ importers, wholesalers and retailers

  • Concrete product producers

  • Masons

Micro finance institutions/banks at the district level were also interviewed.

200

Qualitative data collection

Conducting focus group discussions where various market actors interact and discuss opportunities, issues and constraints to the current supply chain

Gathering recommendations from market actors to strengthen the supply chain



When possible, one actor per each categories (construction materials suppliers, concrete producers, masons) and local authorities’ representatives

17 FGDs, 104 participants


    1. Sample


In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 200 business actors in the sanitation supply chain including importers, wholesalers and retailers of construction materials, concrete producers and masons, as well as local representatives from micro finance institutions and banks5. In total, the team interviewed 68 suppliers of construction materials, 37 concrete producers and 71 masons (Table 4). Fifty-nine of the interviewees (30%) were women.

Table 4: In-depth Interviews – Total Sample



Region

Province

District

# of Construction Materials Suppliers

# of Concrete Producers

# of Masons

# of Micro finance Institutions/ Banks

Northern

Luangnamtha

Sing

5

1

2

2

Long

4

1

2

2

Bokeo

Meung

2



3

2

PhaOudom

4

2

2

1

Huay Xai

5

2

2

2

Central

Borikhamxay

Khamkeut

5

2

3

1

Viengthong

4

3

5

1

Xaychamphone

0

0

3

1

Savannakhet

Xonnabuly

3

3

5

1

Adsaphone

5

2

8

1

Nong

2

2

2

1

Southern

Salavan

Ta-Oy

1

1

4

1

Samoi

3

1

2

1

Salavan

6

4

5

1

Sekong

Kaleum

1

1

1

1

Dakcheung

1

1

5

1

Lamarm

5

5

7

1

Attapeu

Sanxay

4

2

3

1

Phouvong

4

1

4

1

Sanamxay

4

3

3

1

 

Total

68

37

71

24




Total

200

 

Source: EMC research.

A total of seventeen focus group discussions were conducted, involving more than one hundred different participants. The typical focus group had six participants (excluding our research team), but as many as nine people attended some. The focus group discussions were often held in a relaxed and informal setting (sometimes a restaurants or café) in order to encourage participants to openly speak and share their ideas and perceptions on sanitation issues.






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