Course descriptionThe purpose of this module is to equip students with the competences (knowledge and skills) to carry out rigorous research. Global humanitarian action has evolved over the last generation from the random charitable giving to populations affected by disasters to an enterprise with a recognisable global humanitarian system that commands an ever increasing budget and employs a growing number of humanitarian professionals. This shift requires ever increasing demands on this system to be accountable for its actions to both the givers and the receivers of humanitarian aid. Over this generation the call for actions to be based on ‘evidence’ has steadily increased.
Humanitarian professionals working at all levels, in the field, in headquarters and in policy, are now required to have varying levels of research competences. These competences may include not only the ability to conduct research projects but may also extends to the capacity to critique methodology and the making of claims on the basis of research projects.
The NOHA programme in particular is designed to produce humanitarian professionals that have the competences to contribute to improvements in the delivery of humanitarian action. We also want to provide the competences to enable this new generation of professional to document their experiences so that they can contribute to knowledge. To this end, this module addresses both academic research (to prepare students for their thesis and further) and applied research (to encourage students to apply systematic research to humanitarian action praxis).
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of the module students should be able to:
- Independently develop a research proposal for a research project;
- Understand what is required in a literature review and to establish a study framework;
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used research methods within the humanitarian sector;
- Apply methods adopting quantitative and qualitative methodologies as used within the humanitarian sector;
- Analyse and present quantitative and qualitative data;
- Apply best practice in programme/ project monitoring and evaluation.
Teaching and learning methodologyThe module will employ a combination of lectures and problem-based learning to achieve the learning outcomes outlined. Students are expected to attend each lecture/seminar having read the advance reading assigned. This will enable students to work collaboratively to address the questions posed by case studies provided in class. Students are expected to subsequently present their findings to further in-class discussion.
Assessment methods and criteriaThe module will be assessed by assignment and written exam:
- Assignment 1 – Research Proposal – 33%
- Assignment 2 – Research Methods Development – 33%
- Examination – 34%
Last updated: 11 May 2017