The DEEM Research Centre was officially launched on 5 September 2013 with a workshop on the challenges of doing research in development, introduced by Prof. Stephen Mithen, Pro-VC for Internalisation at the University of Reading. The workshop brought together speakers from a range of disciplines including economics, politics and geography and covered challenges to both qualitative and quantitative research in development.
The workshop began with keynote papers on labour markets by Professors Wahba (Southampton), Campos (Brunel and DfID) and Lehmann (Bologna and IZA). The papers dealt with current issues in labour market research, the role of regulation, informal employment and migration. Not unexpectedly, the major challenges identified related to gathering appropriate data to test the hypothesis as well as issues in relation to measurement, highlighted by both Campos and Lehman 3
Professor Jackie Wahba University of Southampton "Selection Selection Selection: Labour market Outcomes of Return Migrants." 4
Professor Nauro Campos Brunel University and DfID ‘The Dynamics of the Regulation of Labor in Developing and Developed Countries since 1960’ by N Campos and J Nugent.
Professor Hartmut Lehmann Università di Bologna and IZA ‘Informal Employment in Russia: Incidence, Determinants, Segmentation’
Dr Zahra Siddique University of Reading ‘Domestic violence and child health’ by Dr Samantha Rawlings and Dr Zahra Siddique 7 Jackie Wahba, Dr Zahra Siddique (Reading, Economics) and Tom Wingfield (DfID) identified the issues of selection and endogeneity.
Tom Wingfield Department for International Development The Challenge of Doing Research in Development: the View from a Donor Funder of Research This was stated quite succinctly by Wingfield, when he argued that 'Quantitative research is "especially frustrating" - many factors highly correlated with one another, makes it "nearly impossible to determine causality". Wingfield also highlighted DfID's focus on evidence in research contracting as well as policy analysis and formation
Professor Dominik Zaum University of Reading "Talking with warlords: challenges of qualitative research in conflict- affected countries" Professor Dominik Zaum (Reading) discussed the ethical challenges of doing development research as well as challenges of access and security. He argued that the reliability and reproducibility of the data that was collected added further to the problems of such research.
Dr Emily Boyd University of Reading 'Challenges in reconciling vulnerability and resilience research: A development perspective' Dr Emily Boyd (Reading) argued that, in the context of discussing the resilience and vulnerability of climate change, it was necessary to have a clear understanding of these concepts and also the methodologies for studying these concepts. In particular, we need to understand the temporal scale of the impacts as also to develop a collective understanding of the problem.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the launch event, organised by DEEM Centre Director Professor Uma Kambhampati (Reading, Economics).Professor Uma Kambhampati