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Research for Development: A Practical Guide 2ed

by Sophie Laws, Caroline Harper, Nicola Jones and Rachel Marcus SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Hbk 440 pages
AU$274.00 NZ$280.87
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Perfect for both students and practitioners, this book offers a comprehensive guide to commissioning, managing and undertaking research in development work. It serves both as a practical reference manual and an indispensable learning tool. Divided into three parts, the book covers the uses and planning of research, the selection of research methods and the analysis and presentation of research findings. Together these three parts provide a complete overview of the entire research process spanning: - The uses, planning and management of research - How to review existing evidence - Learning development research skills - Choosing research methods and data collection - Undertaking ethical research - Research analysis and writing an effective research report - Promoting research uptake and assessing research - Monitoring and Evaluation This fully revised and updated second edition includes new sections on using the internet and writing a literature. Its highly accessible content is supported by a wide variety of international case studies, checklists of key points, learning exercises, helpful references to further reading, engaging illustrations and a detailed glossary of terms. Drawing on considerable hands-on experience, Research for Development is an ideal practical companion for students of development studies and public policy, as well as practitioners in the field.

How to use this book
Introduction: Why Research for Development Matters
So What Is Research?
'But I'm not a Researcher': The Contribution of the Development Worker
Who Should Do Research for Development Work? The Broader Issues
Research and Social Change
How to Tell When Research is the Best Approach to a Problem
Using Research in Development Work
So What is the Right Approach to Research for Development Work?
Two Major Research Approaches
Types of Research in Development Work
Programme-Focused and Issue-Focused Research
Using Research for Programme Development
Using Research to Influence Policy
Planning for Effective Research
Quality in Research
Choosing a Research Focus
Defining the Research Questions
Writing a Research Brief
Managing Research
Attracting and Engaging with Funders
Deciding Who Should Do The Research
Selecting and Appointing External Researchers
Managing Costs and Time
Supervising Researchers
Reviewing Existing Evidence
How to Look
Where to Look
How to Use the Internet for Research
Learning Development Research Skills
Where to Start?
Some Ways of Learning Research Skills
Supporting Southern Researchers
Choosing Methods
Choosing a Research Approach
Choosing Research Techniques
Triangulation: Using More Than One Technique
Collecting and Managing Quality Data
Three Characterisics of Good-quality Data
Ways to Improve Quality in Data Collection
Improving Communication with Respondents
Collecting, Recording and Managing Data
Ensuring 'Trustworthiness'
Thinking about Ethics in Research
Codes of Ethics
Responsibilities Towards Respondents: Some Ethical Issues to Consider
Wider Accountability
Responsibilities to Colleagues
Choosing a Sample
What Does Sampling Mean?
Quantitative or Qualitative Sampling?
Probability or Random Sampling
Purposive or Non-Random Sampling
How to Sample For Cases, Location, Time and Events
Including 'Hard-To-Reach' People
Incentives: What Are The Issues?
Collecting Data
How to Ask Questions
Focus Groups
Use of Documentary Sources and Secondary Data Analysis
Participatory Research
Participation for...?
Participation by...?
Participation in...?
Some Participatory Research Methods
Practical Challenges in Participatory Research
Critical Perspectives on Participatory Research
Undertaking Research Analysis
Getting Organized
What is Analysis?
The Process of Data Analysis
Participation in the Analysis Process
Methods of Analysis
Qualitative Analysis
Quantitative Analysis
So What Does It All Mean?
Writing Effectively
What to Write
What Not to Write
What Must Be Included
How to Write: The Process
Writing Press Releases, Policy Briefs or Journal Articles
Promoting Research Uptake
Building a Successful Communications Strategy
Promotion for Implementation: Influencing Programmes
Promotion for Policy Influence
Some Tools for Communication
Dealing with the Media
Capacity Building
Assessing Research for Development Work
What, Who and When?
Assessing Research Output
Assessing Research Uptake
Assessing Research Impact
Appendix 1: On Monitoring and Evaluation
Appendix 2: Useful Websites


Drawing from their wide experience, the authors showcase examples from various fields including poverty studies, child trafficking, environmental issues, health and sanitation, and gender studies. This ensures that the book appeals to a wide range of development researchers and practitioners.[...] The clear, engaging written style is suited both to readers looking for an overview of certain research approaches, as well as those with more time who can engage with the exercises in each chapter. The chapters are punctuated with real-life examples and case studies that will help a novice development researcher envision what their own research may look like in the field.
Professor Laws holds B.Litt and MA degrees in Theology from Oxford University. She has been a faculty member of the Theology departments of Leeds University and Kings College, University of London, and has lectured in several colleges in the USA. She has been teaching at British American College London since it opened in 1985, offering a range of courses in Religion, early British History and the Classical World and leading field trips to archaeological sites.Her special field of study is the history of Christianity in the Roman Empire, with a developing interest in womenas history and Byzantium. She has published two books in New Testament Studies, and numerous articles in journals and reference works.Professor Laws is active in voluntary work in London, in church, charities and education, and has chaired school and college governing bodies.