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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Hi, my name is Burcak, I’m a lecturer in Disaster, Risk, and Resilience at Coventry University for less than a year. Previously I have been teaching Disaster Risk Management past 20 years, both in academia and also in the practitioner field. My expertise comes from modelling earthquake insurance claims data. I’m from Turkey, and we experience earthquakes from time to time in my country, so there is a lot of economic losses that needs to be explained and put into a future policy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds And there is a Turkish catastrophe insurance pool in operation, which has been there since September 2000, and there’s accumulated data of past 18 years from claims, like people make if there’s any loss and damage to their houses or infrastructure after an earthquake occurrence. So I use this data to model and produce some policies for Turkish catastrophe insurance pool. In terms of policy and how much loss they should expect in a future, say, a popular big Istanbul earthquake.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds The topic for the research was how much people are aware of the Turkish catastrophe insurance pool, the community, and what would we be able to suggest to policymakers to be able to forecast for future losses due to a possible earthquake in anywhere in Turkey. So what we did is we asked for data from the TCIP, they provide the data, and we modelled it statistically. So these numbers, working with numbers, helped us to implement some policy for the future because, we made the data talk, and meaningful, for people to use it in the ground.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds And also, to be able to do this, you need to get in contact with the community and understand their risk perception and risk awareness, and what they understand from having an earthquake insurance as a safety guard - or not having an earthquake insurance. So that makes it a mixed-method; because you have numbers to work with, which is the quantitative part of this research, and you also have the ideas of people, via interviews or questionnaires or however you want to run the survey, which is the qualitative part of the research. So mixed methods is both, using both, to have some contribution for the future policy.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds This is a very popular subject, because insurance sector is a sustainably developing sector, there is always a huge need for data, there is always a huge need for understanding the people’s perception about it, and as long as disasters continue and they change in time and that can be applicable to any other academic fields. My recommendation would be to be very clear of the data they’re using. So when in real life normally you receive very messy data, so having a clean data - cleaning the data, transforming the data into a data set that you can do you your analysis very smoothly - is one challenge that they have to face.

Skip to 3 minutes and 12 seconds And then analysing the data and making some good recommendations for policy is the second challenge, because they need to be very brief in their executive summary, in their reports; that makes - that should make sense to the policymakers, and also to other Academics for possible future research topics.

Case study three: mixed methods

Finally watch an interview with Dr Burcak Basbug Erkan who introduces her research using a mixed methods approach.

Her research investigated methods to reduce risk within the mining industry in Turkey, inferring links between risk, profit and safety.

Her research was carried out in a small town to the west of Turkey known as Soma where many livelihoods relied on lignite coal mining. On the 13 May 2014 the town was affected by a devastating mining accident.

Her research group was in the field two weeks after the disaster to observe risk, profit and safety issues. They used qualitative methods such as asking questions to the first responders, decision makers and social workers about the disaster and noting down their views. This was an interview process.

Alongside this they used data from secondary resources such as production figures, demographic, social and economic data of the region.

They used both the interview results and the secondary data to produce results on their main research questions. By doing this they were able to suggest future policies to improve the safety of mines in Turkey, using both qualitative and quantitative data.

Your task

What advantages do you think a mixed approach brought to Burcak’s Research?

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