The Challenges of Doing Research in Development

Report
Developing Economies and Emerging Markets (DEEM)
The Challenges of Doing Research
in Development
Research Centre Launch | 5 September 2013
© University of Reading 2008
www.reading.ac.uk
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’
Jackie Wahba, Dr Zahra
Siddique (Reading,
Economics) and Tom
Wingfield (DfID) identified
the issues of selection and
endogeneity.
Dr Zahra Siddique
University of Reading
‘Domestic violence and child
health’ by Dr Samantha
Rawlings and Dr Zahra
Siddique
7
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
Tom Wingfield
Department for International
Development
The Challenge of Doing Research
in Development: the View from a
Donor Funder of Research
Professor Dominik Zaum
University of Reading
"Talking with warlords: challenges
of qualitative research in conflictaffected 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 (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.
Dr Emily Boyd
University of Reading
'Challenges in reconciling
vulnerability and resilience research:
A development perspective'
Thanks to everyone who participated in the launch event, organised by DEEM
Centre Director Professor Uma Kambhampati (Reading, Economics).

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