The Craft Of Action Research


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An introduction to Action Research

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The Craft Of Action Research

  1. 1. The Craft of Action Research
  2. 2. I don’t just want to research something- I want to make a difference ( O'Leary, Z. 2004)
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What do we need? </li></ul><ul><li>Action Research: Overview </li></ul><ul><li>The process of Action Research </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  4. 4. What do we need?
  5. 5. What do we need? <ul><li>Research efforts that go beyond explaining specific phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>Research that enacts change </li></ul><ul><li>Research results that can be immediately applied </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers as problem solvers </li></ul>
  6. 6. Answer: Action Research <ul><li>Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a &quot; community of practice &quot; to improve the way they address issues and solve problems. (Wikipedia) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Goals of Action Research Action Research Problem Solving that is not designed, executed and assessed as an integral part of a research effort Research that does not include design, execution, and assessment of one or more problem-solving cycles Action research, i.e. research that includes and is mainly based on practical problem-solving
  8. 8. Goals of Action Research <ul><li>The improvement of practice through continual learning and progressive problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>A deep understanding of practice and the development of a well specified theory of action </li></ul><ul><li>An improvement in the community in which your practice is embedded through participatory research </li></ul>
  9. 9. Goals of Action Research <ul><li>Action Research is concerned with changing situations, not just interpreting them </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Process of Action Research
  11. 11. Planning for Action Research <ul><li>What is my concern? </li></ul><ul><li>Why am I concerned? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I think I can do about the situation? </li></ul><ul><li>What will I do? </li></ul><ul><li>How will I show whether I am influencing the situation for good? </li></ul><ul><li>How will I produce evidence of my influence? </li></ul><ul><li>How will I ensure that any claims I make are reasonably fair and accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>What will I do then? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Identify the Problem <ul><li>An overview of the problem at a general level and why you (and others) see this as an important problem or challenge </li></ul><ul><li>A description of the problem, including the impact it has on development </li></ul><ul><li>Who is affected by the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the goals for improvement? </li></ul><ul><li>Be as specific as possible </li></ul>
  13. 13. Formulate Research Question(s) <ul><li>Good questions often arise from visions of improved practice and emerging theories about the change that will move the researcher closer to the ideal state of working practices </li></ul><ul><li>When stated in an if/then format, they can take the shape of a research hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: If [insert the action to be taken], how will it affect [describe one or more possible consequences of the action]? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Plan Your Action <ul><li>How action/reflection is to be carried out and evaluated? </li></ul><ul><li>How milestones are reached? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the intended outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>What data need to be collected? </li></ul><ul><li>Within what timeframe this work is to be carried out? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Implement and Collect Evidence <ul><li>Observe implementation of action </li></ul><ul><li>Observer how action impact changes (or not) </li></ul><ul><li>Collect evidence to support observation </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reflection <ul><li>Analyse collected data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What can be learned? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What patterns, insights and new understanding can be discovered? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify the impact of the project on the target group (community, village, etc) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Plan Future Action <ul><li>What can be done differently to achieve the intended outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the insights gained from this phase contribute to the design of further action to improve the problem situation </li></ul>
  18. 18. Publish Your Findings <ul><li>Identify your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the research method </li></ul><ul><li>Include collected evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss reflections and findings </li></ul><ul><li>Make recommendations for future action </li></ul>
  19. 19. Examples TeleHealth in rural Algeria
  20. 20. ICT4D@IDRC: Projects Research ICT Africa
  21. 21. ICT4D@IDRC: Projects First Mile First Inch
  22. 22. Examples Sustainable E-Government for the City of Fez, Morocco
  23. 23. Role Play