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 ad hoc charitable giving to populations affected by disasters to an enterprise with a recognisable global humanitarian system. This shift increases demand for accountability to both donors and beneficiaries of humanitarian aid. The call for actions to be based on ‘evidence’ has steadily increased. Humanitarian professionals working at all levels, whether in the field, in headquarters or in policy settings, are now required to have varying levels of competence in planning, conducting and evaluating research as well as information management.
The NOHA programme is designed to produce humanitarian professionals that have the competences to contribute to improvements in the delivery of humanitarian action. We also aim 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 academic research) and applied research (to encourage students to engage in systematic applied research to inform the praxis of humanitarian action). A particular focus will be placed on the measurement and assessment of resilience as a means to practically develop students' research methods competencies.
Learning outcomesAt the end of this module students will be able to:
• Demonstrate the capacity to identify and justify research methods that are appropriate for research relating to community resilience;
• Design and implement a mixed methods research project relating to community resilience in a controlled setting;
• Analyse and present both quantitative and qualitative data as part of a mixed research project focusing on community resilience;
• Apply best practice in programme/ project monitoring and evaluation of relevance to community resilience.
• Critically reflect on the use of methods, their limitations and the knowledge gained therefrom in terms of ethical aspects and the researcher’s position
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: 31 August 2019