Twelve case studies were carried out focusing on female heads of household in the KMA. The women were chosen to represent a spread of tenure status (owner/occupier, squatter, renter etc) and also a spread of geographical location. Three interviewers were used, of whom two were post-graduate geography students from the University of the West Indies who had been trained in case- study interviewing techniques during the initial case studies carried out by the Construction Resource and Development Centre in 1988.
Individual women were located through a number of different networks. Some of the women were already known by one or other of the interviewers and fulfilled the tenure and geographic requirements. Others were identified through community-based organizations working in areas where the author wished to carry out a case study.
The women interviewed were asked questions according to a series of schedules:
Schedule 1 - Identification of household head and household composition
Schedule 2 - Migration and housing history of household head
Schedule 3 - Building materials of the current residence; layout and construction history if known
Schedule 4 - Income and expenditure patterns; investment choices and history of savings and loan
Schedule 5 - Residential preferences and perceptions of the future.
Each of the schedules contained a range of questions. However, in order to facilitate a relaxed atmosphere in the interviews, which all took place in the women's homes, very few notes were taken on the spot. Instead small cassette recorders were used. Questions were not necessarily asked in a set order as the interviewers wished the women to be able to tell their own story in their own way. The interviews were then transcribed and analysed by the author. In some cases the women were recontacted when further information was required.