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RESEARCH SKILLS Ms Alison Armstrong Information Literacy Coordinator, AUC Main Library & Dr Pandeli M Glavanis Associate Director, CLT In collaboration.

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Presentation on theme: "RESEARCH SKILLS Ms Alison Armstrong Information Literacy Coordinator, AUC Main Library & Dr Pandeli M Glavanis Associate Director, CLT In collaboration."— Presentation transcript:

1 RESEARCH SKILLS Ms Alison Armstrong Information Literacy Coordinator, AUC Main Library & Dr Pandeli M Glavanis Associate Director, CLT In collaboration with THE AUC MAIN LIBRARY

2 WORKSHOP STRUCTURE  Research Skills & Techniques (PG)  Awareness of Research Environment (PG) 5 MINUTE BREAK  Research Management (PG) 5 MINUTE BREAK  Familiarity with Research Resources (AA) (Information Literacy)

3 ALL EXAMPLES USED BY PG ARE EXTRACTED FROM FINDING OUT FAST: INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS FOR POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT, A THOMAS, J CHATAWAY & M WUYTS, SAGE PUBLICATIONS, LONDON, 1998

4 RESEARCH SKILLS  The ability to recognize and validate problems.  Original, independent and critical thinking and the ability to develop theoretical concepts.  Knowledge of recent advances within one’s field and in related areas.

5 ZIMBABWE COOPERATIVES  BACKGROUND: –Coop movement was in trouble & foreign NGO wants to help – commission research.  EXAMINE: –Tension between government & coop movement; –Ways in which foreign NGOs might provide further funding without increasing tension with government.  ASSUMPTIONS: –Government bureaucracy had turned hostile despite political rhetoric.

6 RESEARCH IN ZIMBABWE  Most coops were in fact in serious trouble;  Many government officials were hostile; BUT ALSO FOUND OUT THAT:  Foreign NGOs had created dependency;  Problem of attitude: all saw coops as political, charitable social organisations;  A few successful coops which operated as commercial entities.

7 MORE ASSUMPTIONS  Coops were passive recipients of charity from foreign NGOs; and  Business sector was hostile to coop movement.

8 NEW RESEARCH QUESTION  How can foreign NGOs help coops to become:  Politically and commercially independent And  Make best use of government and business resources. i.e. Break dependency on foreign NGOs

9 LAND IN MOZAMBIQUE  BACKGROUND: –Peasants are being pushed off the land and afraid to talk about it. Foreign NGOs concerned.  EXAMINE: –How to use public international pressure to stop it. Foreign NGO commissions research.  ASSUMPTIONS: –Peasants cant defend themselves –Government uninterested in peasant plight –No public debate on issue

10 RESEARCH IN MOZAMBIQUE  Government has already established National Land Commission to draft revisions to law to safeguard peasant rights;  Several local NGOs raising public awareness of the issue; and  Local NGOs successful in helping some peasants defend their rights. (i.e. struggle to stop expropriation)

11 NEW RESEARCH QUESTION  How to assist and influence the work of the National Land Commission?  How to assist local NGOs to fight more cases of expropriation?

12 PROBLEM OF ASSUMPTIONS  Enter crowded airport lounge;  See one empty chair & I go to sit when I notice someone spilt a drink on the cushion;  I don’t have anything to wipe it so I sit on table;  Another passenger comes along, looks at chair and turns the cushion over and sits. WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THAT?

13 RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT Show a broad understanding of the context, at the national and international level, in which research takes place

14 FAMINE  Famine is due to a shortfall in available food PARADOX  In most famine areas food was being exported during famine. Explain how this can happen.

15 ANSWER TO PARADOX  Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate in Economics) has published extensively on the subject and showed – from extensive research – that:  Market mechanisms (purchasing power) usually attracts food to wealthy urban areas and away from rural famine areas who in fact produce the limited food.

16 GLOBAL WARMING Dispute between:  World Resources Institute in Washington  Centre for Science & Environment in India WRI argues that China and India (as countries) emit more CO 2 than the EU or Canada. CSE challenged the results

17 CSE Challenge  Emissions should be calculated according to population size and by country –Thus China and India are well below the EU and Canada in global league table. And  Luxury emissions should not be compared to survival emissions –Driving to the shops vs fuel for cooking IMPLICATIONS FOR GLOBAL POLICY

18 GENETICALLY MANIPULATED ORGANISMS (GMOs)  Third World Network (TWN) a Malaysian NGO is trying to influence global policy on GMOs  TWN makes use of scientists from GMOs producing countries who are opposed to GMOs to support their case WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEIR METHOD?

19 SCIENCE IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER  The use of such scientists may give scientific credibility to TWNs argument BUT Turns the entire GMO debate into a technical debate THUS RISK IS TECHNICAL RATHER THAN SOCIAL IN NATURE

20 RESEARCH MANAGEMENT Apply effective project management through the setting of research goals, intermediate milestones and prioritization of activities USING PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODLOGY

21 Information Literacy Sessions: Graduate Research Assistant Orientation Session Alison Armstrong Information Literacy Coordinator

22 The AUC Library website

23 How Do I?

24 Quick Links

25 The AUC Library website

26 AUC Library Catalog

27 Electronic Resources

28 Subject Guides

29 Contact Information  Library’s Graduate Research Liaison Hiltraut (Hildy) Benham ,  Document Delivery , or  Today’s Presentation Alison Armstrong


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