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Doing Development Research


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Table of Contents

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION The Raison d'etre of Doing Development Research PART TWO: STRATEGIC ISSUES IN PLANNING SOUND RESEARCH Doing Fieldwork in Developing Countries - Tony Binns Planning and Logistics Ethical Practices in Doing Development Research - Lynne Brydon Working in Different Cultures - Caesar R A Apentiik and Jane L Parpart Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Identity Women, Men and Fieldwork - Janet Henshall Momsen Gender Relations and Power Structures Working with Children in Development - Lorraine van Blerk Collecting Sensitive and Contentious Information - Margaret E Harrison Dealing with Conflicts and Emergency Situations - Morten Boas, Kathleen M Jennings and Timothy M Shaw Working with Partners - Bill Gould Educational Institutions Working with Partners - Mansoor Ali and Andrew Cotton Government Ministries Working with Partners - Claire Mercer NGOs and CBOs Doing Development Studies 'At Home' - Tim Unwin PART THREE: INFORMATION AND DATA COLLECTION METHODS METHODS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH AND ASSOCIATED FORMS OF ANALYSIS Quantitative, Qualitative or Participatory - Linda Mayoux Which Method, for What and When? Field Surveys and Inventories - David Barker Interviewing - Katie Willis Focus Groups - Sally Lloyd-Evans Your Questions Answered: Conducting Questionnnaire Surveys - David Simon Lost in Translation? The Use of Interpreters in Fieldwork - Janet Bujra Ethnographic and Participant Observation - Jan Kees van Donge Participatory Methods and Approaches - Harriot Beazley and Judith Ennew Tackling the Two Tyrannies Diaries and Case Studies - JoAnn McGregor USING EXISTING KNOWLEDGE AND RECORDS Literature Reviews and Bibliographic Searches - Paula Meth and Glyn Williams Using the Indigenous Local Knowledge and Literature - Cathy McIlwaine Using Images, Films and Photography - Cheryl McEwan Using Archives - Michael Jennings Remote Sensing, GIS and Ground Truthing - Denis Conway and Shanon Donnelly The Importance of Census and Other Secondary Data in Development Studies - Allan M Findlay Using the World Wide Web for Development Research - Emma Mawdsley Data from International Agencies - Jonathan Rigg DISSEMINATING FINDINGS/RESEARCH Writing an Effective Research Report or Dissertation - Steve Morse How is Research Communicated Professionally? - Sally Gainsbury and Cheryl Brown

About the Author

My research involves an integrated strategy of cross disciplinary research collaboration combining my own background in development with the work of academics from geography, sociology, social policy, gerontology and international NGOs such as Practical Action and WaterAid in seeking to influence international policy making - focussing on theoretical and implementation issues in development policy, urban governance, and North-South donor relations in areas of low-income housing and infrastructural development (water and sanitation), ageing and gender issues. My work is organised in four particular themes. First, improved infrastructure and services and the threat that it creates for security of tenure for slum dwellers in Ghana and Bangladesh with Dr. Alex Loftus (Geography, Royal Holloway), Dr. Mansoor Ali (Practical Action) and Mr. Nick Bundle (WaterAid UK). Secondly, on ageing strategies among the urban poor in Mumbai. Thirdly, on ageing strategies, transnationalism and global health care with Dr. Deborah Price (Institute of Gerontology, Kings College). Fourthly, on cultural transformation and gender issues in India and Indonesia, in collaboration with the Dr. Shruti Tambe, University of Pune (India), and Dr. Harriot Beazley in Queensland University, Australia. Funded by DFID (UK) and a grant from the British Academy, I have carried out research on NGOs and development. The research was the first of its kind in focusing on a sample of 67 urban NGOs in one city i.e. Mumbai. This research led theoretical debates on how NGOs are increasingly called upon to fill the gap between the needs of vulnerable urban groups and the partial service delivery of the public sector. I have been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Progress in Development Studies for the last eleven years. I was appointed a member of the editorial board "The Urban World" a quarterly journal of the Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies (RCUES), All India Institute of Local Self Government, Mumbai in May 2009. I also hold external positions of responsibilities such as gender adviser to the Diversity Unit of the British Council, elected member of the advisory council of Global Think (Development Education Association - DEA) and research associate with Equality Research and Consulting Ltd I have co-edited two of the leading development text books. I teach on the undergraduate and Master's programme and supervise PhD postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers. I did my Masters at Liverpool University and achieved a Wingate scholarship at Oxford University to do my DPhil supervised by Prof. Ceri Peach (Geography) and Prof. Marcus Banks (Social Anthropology). My thesis on Community participation and slum housing (Sage Publications, 1995) was awarded the Eileen Younghusband Memorial Award from the London School of Economics and Political Science. On completion in 1992, I was appointed as a Research Fellow for three years at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and in 1996 moved to a Lectureship to the Geography Department at Royal Holloway. Professor Rob Potter is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Reading. His research and teaching interests span development geography and development studies; urban geography; return migration; transnationality and issues of identity. He is author of the texts Key Concepts in Development Geography (Sage, 2012), Geographies of Development (Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2008), The Companion to Development Studies (Hodder, 2008), Doing Development Research (Sage, 2006) and The Contemporary Caribbean, Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2005). He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary journal Progress in Development Studies and is currently a member of the International Editorial Boards of the journals Third World Quarterly, Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies, and Blackwell Geography Compass. Rob Potter was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2006 and in 2007 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Reading, in recognition of his contributions to the fields of Geographies of Development and Urban Geography.


"The collection is a tight volume containing the diverse insight of the many years of collective experience of a range of academics." -- Lauren Siegman and Jessica Dart

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