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Finding Out Fast
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Finding Out Fast
Investigative Skills for Policy and Development

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April 1998 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Finding Out Fast provides readers with key skills and approaches for research designed to inform policies, particularly on development.

Recognizing that policy decisions are typically made under pressure of time and on the basis of incomplete data or with limited resources with which to obtain information, the authors provide guidance on how to locate, evaluate and use relevant information, fast.

They explain and critically review a variety of research methods for `finding out fast', in the belief that these methods can still be rigorous. Finding Out Fast will assist readers to become competent investigators, to understand how to use research more effectively and how to commission and critically evaluate research done by others.

This book is essential reading for development managers in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public sector agencies and students of development management and development studies more generally. However, the ideas and approaches will also appeal to anyone involved in policy making and research with developmental goals.

It is a course text for two courses in the Open University Global Programme in Development Management: Capacities for Managing Development (TU870) and the Development Management Project (TU874).

Alan Thomas
Introduction
 
PART ONE: CONCEPTUALISING POLICY-RELATED INVESTIGATION
Stephen Potter and Ramya Subrahmanian
Information Needs and Policy Change
Chris Blackmore and Ray Ison
Boundaries for Thinking and Action
Joseph Hanlon
Grabbing Attention
 
PART TWO: THINKING WITH PAPER
Stephanie Barrientos
How to Do a Literature Study
Bridget O'Laughlin
Interpreting Institutional Discourses
 
PART THREE: THINKING WITH PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS
Philip Woodhouse
People as Informants
Hazel Johnson and Linda Mayoux
Investigation as Empowerment
Using Participatory Methods  
Chris Roche
Organizational Assessment and Institutional Footprints
Dina Abbott
Dilemmas of Researching Poverty
Joanna Chataway and Avril Joffe
Communicating Results
 
PART FOUR: THINKING WITH DATA
Chandan Mukherjee and Marc Wuyts
Thinking with Quantitative Data
Geoff Jones
Analysing Institutional Accounts
Sue Mayer
Critical Issues in Using Data
Alan Thomas
Challenging Cases
Alan Thomas and Joanna Chataway
Conclusion
Personal Effectiveness and Integrity  

`The book is a useful, interesting and worthwhile contribution to an important area of policy investigation.... It will be a useful reference for development managers, policy analysts and budding researchers at large' - Management and Change

`A welcome addition to the literature for development practitioners... It will undoubtedly also be useful for students and researchers... it illustrates approaches with case studies that are well integrated in the text, and offers summaries and key questions in tables, boxes and pictures. For many this will be a timely book... For many it could become a much-consulted handbook' - Development in Practice

`This book is unique and fills a glaring gap in the field of development practice. It deals with the dilemmas that every practitioner faces - the need to make decisions fast, provide advice on the basis of incomplete information, and navigate complex political waters' - Gita Sen, Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Management

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ISBN: 9780761958376
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