During the week of April 11, 2016, it took place in Barcelona a training session addressed to our experts responsible for the data collection. This training aimed at establishing a standardised framework for data gathering in the different cities involved in the project. Therefore, during the sessions, researchers had the opportunity to tackle the heterogeneity of their nature, both in terms of background disciplines (sociology, criminology, anthropology, economy, and statistics), and professional profiles (form pre- to post-doc researchers). In addition, they were able to exchange skills and strategies that will be used in the future fieldwork.
The first session was dedicated to an overview of the project objectives and research questions. Researchers involved in the training had the chance to present their own preliminary activities, main characteristics of the neighbourhoods where the interviews will take place, and express their concerns about potential future problems. Moreover, trainees were taught different methods to prepare datasets for both quantitative and qualitative analysis by two experts from UNIMIB, Sonia Stefanizzi, and UB, Marc Compta.
Second day was focused on in-depth interviews method, and it was carried out by Simone Ghezzi (UNIMIB). He provided insightful knowledge and guidelines to the trainees. Third session explored the participant observation method, and was also led by Simone Ghezzi. During this session, trainees were introduced the main features of the observation procedure: how to take field notes, the development of interviews and audio-visual data, the role of gatekeepers, and the selection of key respondents. That afternoon, the trainees had the chance to put this knowledge into practice, and they carried out a 2-hour pilot observation in the Barcelona neighbourhood of El Raval. The forth day was dedicated to techniques for running focus groups, which was introduced by Enrico Petrelli. A focus group was also simulated, and therefore the trainees had the opportunity to put everything learnt into practice. On Friday April, 15, the audio and recordings of this mock group were revised together by all trainees with the support of Riccardo Valente. Thanks to this revision, trainees reflected on how to successfully moderate a discussion, on analysing the interaction between participants and studying the non-verbal communication. Finally, last day of the training was devoted to issues concerning vulnerable groups and risks associated to fieldwork. This last session was carried out by Alessandra Caporale.
To sum up, during the training, the participants had the opportunity to put together different points of view, techniques and guidelines to implement a qualitative fieldwork based on in-depth interviews, focus groups and participant observation. Hence, the project will benefit from a coherent and harmonised data gathering, which will ensure the maximum quality to the methodological process of the project.