You are on page 1of 4

A brief note on Research and various methods of

Social and Participatory Research.

An Introduction

Research aims at discovering the truth. The word research it self-mean “

the act of searching for or after a specified things or person” OR “ a search
for investigation directed to the discovery of some fact by careful
consideration”. In simple ways one can say that doing research is careful
critical enquiry or examination for fact finding of the problem.

Why doing Research

 Research is undertaken to discover answers to questions by

applying scientific method.

 The discovery of the new fact; old theories may either be

rejected or modified.

 Research gives a new direction and new insight in to the existing


 Constant Research is helpful to know old conclusion with new


 It helps to reach more conclusions.

 It is done to discover an unexplored knowledge.

 It is done to find out the different and appropriate ways to

resolve the contradictions in the study / work area.

Research process

The research process consists of a number of related steps, which are

mutually supporting each other.

STEP .1: Formulation of the problem according to the purpose of the

study. (Formulation of the Hypotheses)

STEP. 2: Developing the research design. : In involves

1. Building Hypotheses

2. Deciding secondary and primary source of data

3. Sample selection

4. Deciding time line of the research.

5. Deciding data collection methods

6. Organizing and analyzing of the data.

7. Reporting and Documentation.

STEP. 3: The Method of the Data collection: It involves using of decided

methods for collecting data.

STEP. 4: Result of the Study: Analyzing the data and findings of the study.

STEP. 5: Recommendation and conclusion: suggesting possible solution

on the basis of findings of the analyzed data

Social Research

A social research studies the human behavior and social problem. The
main idea behind such research is to discover new interrelations, new
knowledge, and new facts and also to verify old ones.

 Social research tries to find out the casual connection between

various human activities and the natural laws governing them by
means of logical methods.

 It helps to understand those laws, which can be the proper

guideline for studying human conduct and behavior.

 It is more concern with the understanding of the fundamental

social process involving human behavior, human institution and
human relation.

Different Phases involve in social research process

1. Formulation of the Hypotheses

2. Collection of data
3. Classification of the facts

4. Conclusion

5. Empirical verification

Methods of Social Research

There is no clear-cut method of social research, not it is possible to

suggest a definite method of social research. Research methodology will
depend upon the topic it self, the techniques and tools, the data available
and the experience and capability of the researcher. The purpose of
research may often be helpful in determining its methodology.

There are;

 Comparative methods – It attempts to trace the History of the

development and evolutionary stages of phenomenon in order to
relate its particular stage.
 Field study methods - This is also called an experimental method
as experiments can be conducted in the field also. This is also
called an observation method. It is more participatory. It is used
to collect research materials or data.

 Qualitative and quantitative methods – the methods of the social

research is either qualitative or quantitative.

Participatory Research (PR):

Participatory research provides an alternative approach to research.

Participatory research means doing research ‘with’ people rather than
doing research ‘on’ or ‘for’ people. This kind of research methods are
based on the principle that ordinary people are capable of critical
reflection and analyses, that their knowledge is both essential and
valuable in any research, educational or development intervention.

It is the approach developed by activist researcher as a

critique to conventional social science methodology.

The purpose of PR there fore, is to create or rediscover knowledge,

which will enable people particularly the poor and the oppressed- to
improve their lives. In practical terms PR is:

 Collective investigation of problems and issue with active

participation of villagers.

 Collective analysis, in which people develops a better

understanding not only of the problems but also the underlying
structural causes.(Socio ,economic , political)

 Collective action by the constituency aimed at long term or short

term solution to these problems.

The PR Includes;

 Action research (people learn by doing it): Action research

begins with a general idea that some kind of improvement is
desirable. Groups and individuals are then engaged in deciding
upon what the problem areas are and what improvements can be
made. This commitment to improvement also implies that group
members take responsibility for action emerging from this
research and reflect upon these leading to further action.

 Participatory rural Appraisal (PRA):

PRA exercise aiming at Learning from local people rather then

experts, learning with conscious exploration, flexible use of
methods and being adaptable in a learning process.

PRA is mainly carried out for the concrete planning of any

development project.
PRA Focused on:

 Villagers Knowledge and capabilities

 Rapport building with the village community

 Visual sharing of the exercises (mapping, Diagramming)

 Sequences (sequencing of exercise)

 Training for outsider (reorientation of the facilitator)

 Sharing and spread of ideas. (Exchanging of ideas with


Different Methodology used under the PRA Exercise

 Do it your self

 They do it

 Participatory mapping

 Transect walk

 Time line

 Trend Analysis (History Analysis)

 Seasonality mapping

 Livelihood analysis

 Wealth ranking