Methodframe : Designing a Social Research Project

I often have to train social workers on Research methods. Most of the research work they do is to answer some research questions by collecting information from their communities. I use what I call “Methodframe” to explan the basics of research design to them.

Here are the slides I use. email me if you wish to know more:

List all the information you need to answer your research question. Break the Information needs down into the smalles possible pieces of information.

For each Information you need, there could be one or more sources of Information. for Example: you can ask directly from the community members or you can refer some published information or you can ask community leaders, government officials..

From each source of information, you can use different possible tools to collect the information. Example : a questionnaire, direct observation. Depending on the type of research question and information needed, the tool will change. We will discuss about how to choose the tool later.

Your Research method is nothing but your choice of information source and tool. The source-tool combination is called Method.

Once you have listed all Information, possible sources, feasible tools, you job will be to select the best Information-source-tool combinations. If you are interested, in my next post I will write about different tools and how this Methodframe can be used to design your research tools


About Gunasekar C Rajaratnam

Social Entrepreneur, Guna has been working 28 years with market research and social research agencies and as an independent research consultant. Volunteers most of his time on social and public causes and has travelled extensively within India and has visited Africa. Trained as a barefoot manager, Guna leads a de-cluttered life of simplicity and personal Integrity and aims to be a 'Karmayogi'. He works with marginalised and rural communities and helps them set up sustainable enterprises in rural and urban areas. He holds these Positions: Director - Methodlabs Services Private Limited Co-Founder - Coworking Chennai Started as a freelance field data collector in 1985, grew up to a Senior General Manager in 1998 working for professional research agencies and as an Independent Research Methodology Consultant since 1998. He has designed and played a role in implementing a variety of research and analytic projects in retail markets, consumer behaviour, health, environment, social development, hard to reach communities and indigenous people. Specialities: Research Methodology, recruiting, training and managing large research teams, online collaboration tools, open source software, qualitative and quantitative research techniques, clinical and laboratory research practices and Knowledge management. Domain knowledge in Industrial diversification, marketing, retail markets, appropriate technologies, social development, health, sexual health, environment, urban wildlife, communities and indigenous people

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