Original Research

Research methods challenges: A case study of preparedness in The Bahamas

Trevor O. Johnson Jr, Jessica Jensen
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 16, No 1 | a1565 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v16i1.1565 | © 2024 Trevor O. Johnson Jr, Jessica Jensen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 July 2023 | Published: 07 February 2024

About the author(s)

Trevor O. Johnson Jr, Department of Emergency and Disaster Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, United States; and, Department of Global Operations, Pacific Disaster Center, Kihei, United States; and, Country of Bahamas Office, InterAmerican Development Bank, Nassau, Bahamas
Jessica Jensen, Department of Emergency and Disaster Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, United States; and, RAND Corporation, Department of Defense and Political Sciences, Santa Monica, United States


Disaster research is essential for developing more robust and contextualised policies. It is, therefore, no surprise that multilateral organisations like the United Nations and the World Bank have called for enhanced disaster-related frameworks, legislation and policies in developing countries using quality data. However, internal and external researchers and practitioners often face significant challenges collecting data in these nations because of a range of problems including, but not limited to, incomplete sampling frames, inadequate infrastructure or unstable governments. This reality leads one to question: is the cart coming before the horse? This study explored individual and household (IH) preparedness in The Bahamas – a small island developing state in the Caribbean. An online survey was used, and 629 Bahamians opted to participate. However, the researchers faced many barriers to collecting representative data. This case study, therefore, discusses the range of methodological challenges faced by the researchers and their impact on this study.

Contribution: This article substantially contributes to the disaster literature by exploring the challenges associated with conducting IH preparedness research in The Bahamas. This article also reminds practitioners and academics of the issues associated with collecting data in developing nations and its implications for policy enhancement and development. Furthermore, the authors present various recommendations ranging from enhanced funding to recognising the need for methodological innovation to support continuous research in countries like The Bahamas.


The Bahamas; developing countries; preparedness; research; methodological

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities


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