You are here

SAGE online ordering services and account tools will be unavailable due to system maintenance beginning Saturday, December 14 at 1:00am GMT until Sunday, December 15 at 8:00pm GMT. If you need immediate assistance, please contact 800-233-9936. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.
Research for Development
Share

Research for Development
A Practical Guide

Second Edition


March 2013 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Perfect for practitioners, teachers and students, 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 provides 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 how to use the internet for research, promoting research uptake, assessing research work and on monitoring and evaluation. The 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

 
 
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION AND PLANNING YOUR RESEARCH
 
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

 
 
PART TWO: COLLECTING DATA
 
Choosing Methods
Choosing a Research Approach

 
Choosing Research Techniques

 
Triangulation: Using More Than One Technique

 
 
Collecting and Managing Quality Data
Introduction

 
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

 
Interviews

 
Focus Groups

 
Questionnaires

 
Use of Documentary Sources and Secondary Data Analysis

 
Observation

 
 
Participatory Research
Participation for...?

 
Participation by...?

 
Participation in...?

 
Some Participatory Research Methods

 
Practical Challenges in Participatory Research

 
Critical Perspectives on Participatory Research

 
 
PART THREE: ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH COMMUNICATION
 
Undertaking Research Analysis
Getting Organized

 
What is Analysis?

 
Interpretation

 
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

 
Glossary

 
References

 

In the decade since it was first published, Research for Development has become the 'go to' text for development practitioners, students and researchers alike. This substantially revised second edition is even better: brought fully up to date with many new topics and chapters, this book is comprehensive, authoritative and highly informative. Whether one is seeking a quick definition or brief explanation of a subject, or needing a more detailed guide to how to go about doing research for development, this book is quite simply indispensible.
David Lewis
Professor of Social Policy and Development, London School of Economics & Political Science


Research for Development is undoubtedly the best guide to its subject that we have. The first edition has become an indispensable work of reference for development researchers and practitioners engaged in commissioning and managing research. Oxfam staff around the world have benefitted from its use, and all of us are looking forward to the publication of the new edition. Sophie Laws, Caroline Harper, Nicola Jones and Rachel Marcus are to be congratulated for the work they have put into updating the text and keeping it relevant to the ever-changing demands of development research, and for their contribution to our common goal of making the world a better place..
Duncan Green
Senior Strategic Adviser, Oxfam


 

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.

Chandni Singh
LSE Review of Books

A good general text on key elements of development research.

Mr Kelechi Ekuma
Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
February 22, 2014

I think this is a super book - the ideas are not only relevant to research in international development, but also for social research in any context that wishes to engage 'respondents' as research participants.

The book covers, among the usual topics, other issues relating to planning and managing research, participation, and uses of research findings to influence policy, programming and practice. A key theme running through the book are the social and political elements of research.

Perhaps more could have been made of the emancipatory intentions of (some) research by addressing critical perspectives in addition to positivist and social constructionist approaches. A critical realist take on research may also be a useful addition here (usefully brought to life in Alderson P (2013) Childhoods, Real and Imagined)

That said, the book goes into enough depth for most small-scale studies - and shows readers how, for example, to carry out simple qualitative and quantitative analysis; a useful outline for studies in resource poor contexts/settings.

This is a book I'll recommend to postgrad students (as well as other tutors) on our education-related programmes.

Dr Ian Warwick
Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education
August 10, 2013

The MA course policy research and evaluation attracts more and more foreign students who want to conduct their dissertation project in their own country. This book is really helpful because it outlines the essential steps in a research project in an accessible manner (making it relevant for all students) whilst at the same time highlighting specific issues in developing countries. I particular like the summaries at the end of Chapters (key points, further reading, web sites, etc.).

Dr Anne Krayer
School of Social Sciences, Bangor University
July 30, 2013

A substantive and highly useful reference text. Well-written and relevant both in terms of range of topics and approach.

Dr Conor Galvin
College of Human Sciences, University College Dublin
March 25, 2013

A really valuable book concerning the methods of research for the students of international development. Thanks for the great service!

Mr Wolfgang Gruber
Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna
March 19, 2013
  • A new section on how to use the internet for research
  • New international case studies, checklists of key points, learning exercises, helpful references to further reading and engaging illustrations
  • A detailed glossary of terms.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$46.00

Paperback
ISBN: 9781446252376
$58.00

Hardcover
ISBN: 9781446252369
$144.00