Conducting Life History Interviews: A How-to Guide

Julia Davies, Chandni Singh, Mark Tebboth, Dian Spear, Adelina Mensah, Prince Ansah   | 2018


This ‘how to’ guide has been developed to guide researchers, step-by-step, through the process of using the life history approach to conduct interviews. The idea for the development of this handbook arose following a series of life history interviews that were conducted in India, Ghana, Kenya and Namibia under the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) research project. The valuable experiences that were had by the ASSAR researchers who undertook these in-depth interviews inspired them to share their practical knowledge, which has been documented herein. The advice provided is generalised, to ensure that it is accessible and useful to researchers working in many different fields. However, certain points are emphasized through the use of examples that link to the ASSAR researcher’s work on mobility as a livelihood strategy to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change.