Balancing Consistency and Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities in Conducting a Cross-Country Longitudinal Study with Youth Participants in Work-Integration Social Enterprises
Keywords:Longitudinal studies; work-integration social enterprises (WISE); youth participants / Étude longitudinale; entreprises sociales d’insertion par le travail (ESIT); jeunes participants
Longitudinal studies conducted within the social economy have the potential to provide useful insights by tracing participant experiences and illuminating long-term outcomes of program interventions. However, longitudinal studies are challenging, not only due to retention of participants, but also when a longitudinal study covers a broad geographic area. The authors collaborated in a five-year pan-Canadian longitudinal study following youth participants in work-integration social enterprise (WISE) training programs. This article traces the experiences of study teams in Ontario and Greater Vancouver, providing accounts of the approaches and challenges encountered when working in geographically and socio-economically diverse locales over time with youth participants facing social marginalization. This article highlights three aspects of data collection—recruitment, retention, and research methods and logistics—offering insights into how each team devised its own strategies to fit with local circumstances while maintaining consistency across research sites.
Copyright (c) 2022 Lindsay Simpson, Annie Luk, Peter Hall, Marcelo Vieta, Andrea Chan
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