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Research Methods & Challenges in Conflict Assessment

Chapter 2 in "Conflict Assessment & Peacebuilding Planning"

Lisa Schirch

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Research Methods & Challenges in Conflict Assessment

Chapter 2 in "Conflict Assessment & Peacebuilding Planning"
Research Methods & Challenges
Research Principles
Data Quality
Data Validity & Distortion Problems
1. The identity of the group collecting the data impacts the quality of the data.
-People may tell you what they think you want to hear

2. Data distortion comes through translation.

3. Researchers assume they are objective and fail to identify strategies for overcoming their own bias.
Psychological Processes that Hamper Research
Cognitive consistency

Cognitive dissonance
Selective Perception

Humans "see" information that fits into their current worldview.

Worldviews "filter" the world to see what we expect to see.

Humans "discard" information that does not fit into their current worldview.

Worldviews create the world they expect to see.
People in groups start to:
think alike
reinforce false assumptions
fail to see alternatives
permit "mind guards" to censor views
become overly optimistic about what they know and their own morality
Identifying Missing Information & Overconfident Assertions
Constructing Conflict Assessment Teams & Processes
Diverse team of insiders and outsiders that are sensitive to power relations
Be aware of potential dangers in research process to interviewees and researchers
Be cautious approach to how people may provide data that serves their own interests
Identify political interests that might block data collections
Be aware of different levels of awareness of complex ideas and terms
Conflict Sensitive Research & Assessment
Who designs the research process?
Who conducts the research?
How transparent is the process?
Are all research questions trauma-sensitive and pilot tested?
Who will benefit from research & what follow up to report to local people?
Data Collection Methods
This powerpoint is a resource to be used with the book shown here, published by Lynn Rienner/
Kumarian Press, 2013.

For more teaching/learning tools, please visit the book's website at:
Full transcript