How Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) Was Used To Explore Fiscal Federalism and Alleviation of Poverty in Nigeria Society

Imuetinyan Press John Ugiagbe


This paper describes how, Interpretive phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to investigate if fiscal federalism has alleviated poverty in Nigerian society. Nigeria has practiced fiscal federalism since 1946 and it was hoped that fiscal federalism practice would help Nigeria to develop rapidly throughout the country considering the size of the country and the diverse nature of the peoples of the country. Instead, development has been hindered and poverty is not abating.  Fiscal federalism as an integral  and essential part of macroeconomic policy in Nigeria to ensuring economic stability and growth needs to be examined to ascertain if it has meaningfully contributed to Nigeria’s state of development or not. Because this research examined the perception of participants, Interpretive phenomenological Analysis (IPA) research method was deemed most suitable because it explores in detail how participants are making sense of their personal and social world, and the main currency of an IPA study is the meanings which particular experiences, events and states hold for participants, what Conrand (1987) referred to as ‘insider’s perspective. Its credential as an alternative to positivism according to Denscombe (2003) are further reinforced by the fact that phenomenological research generally deals with people’s perceptions or meanings, attitudes and beliefs, feelings and emotions. Most importantly, this paper specifically provides an overview of interpretive phenomenological Analysis, and a description of how suitable to investigating fiscal federal in relation to poverty alleviation phenomena, stages followed in conducting this research,  a description of how the research was conducted, limitation, and lessons learned. It is hoped that by exposing how this research was conducted that many students and professionals thinking about using this research methodology (IPA) will immensely benefit from it.

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