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Chapter 9 Understanding Methodologies: Evaluative, Action-Oriented and Emancipatory Strategies Zina OLeary.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Understanding Methodologies: Evaluative, Action-Oriented and Emancipatory Strategies Zina OLeary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Understanding Methodologies: Evaluative, Action-Oriented and Emancipatory Strategies Zina OLeary

2 A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all. Georges Bernanos Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

3 Research and Change All researchers want their research to be useful. The question is whether that usefulness involves the production of knowledge that may some day lead to change, or whether change itself will be a direct product of the research process. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

4 Research and Change Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

5 Evaluative Research Evaluative research can determine the value of some initiatives such as a programme or policy. Findings are considered crucial to rational and informed decision making. Since change intervention strategies often require formal review, evaluation research has become increasingly common. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

6 Evaluative Research Evaluative studies can relate to outcome : Did it work?, or process : How can the design and implementation of the initiative be improved? Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

7 Evaluative Methods Evaluative goals determine appropriate methodology. Outcome evaluation methods such as experiments and quasi-experiments, can be highly useful when evaluating outcomes that affect target groups. Process evaluation calls on diverse methods such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, observation and document review. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

8 Politics of Evaluation Evaluative research is highly political, with both stakeholders and researchers having diverse goals and complex relationships. Navigating the politics of evaluation is easiest if client and researcher objectives/ expectations are made clear and are openly negotiated. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

9 Challenges in Evaluative Research Evaluative research takes place in complex real world situations Challenges include: when the decision to evaluate comes after initial implementation when objectives are not clearly articulated or readily measurable when the intervention has not been going long enough to expect results and when effects of the initiative can be: (a) difficult to measure; (b) difficult to attribute to the initiative. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

10 Action Research Action research is dedicated to the integrated production of knowledge and implementation of change. In doing so it: addresses practical problems generates knowledge enacts change is participatory and relies on a cyclical self- reflective process. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

11 Action Research Spirals Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

12 Action Research Goals AR is often called up to empower stakeholders to improve practice by recognizing the contribution they can make to their own learning and development. AR is also common in organizations that wish to improve programmes, policy and even organizational culture. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

13 Action Research Challenges AR can be rewarding and productive, but can also be a management nightmare, i.e.: facilitating rather than directing researching with rigour managing a projects scope, pace and momentum managing people working ethically being multi-skilled and negotiating ownership. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

14 Emancipatory Research Striving for critical emancipation requires more than just change within a system; it requires radical change to the system itself. Two strategies for achieving such goals through research are: participatory action research and critical ethnography. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

15 Participatory Action Research Participatory action research (PAR) is explicit in its agenda of empowerment. A central goal is to help community groups construct their own knowing in order to create and action their own plan for a better future. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

16 Critical Ethnography Critical ethnography also attempts to expose dominant systems in the interest of the marginalized. Change comes from the voice offered to the oppressed, as well as the starting point it offers for action at individual, legislative, and policy levels. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

17 Challenges in Emancipatory Research A common issue in emancipatory research is the intertwining of research and political agendas. In addition to managing subjectivities, researchers need to guard against imposing their own political agendas on the researched. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage


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