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Discovering Valuable Information about a Community

by Phil Bartle, PhD

Introduction to the Module (Hub)

Documents Included in this Community Research Module

What research needs to be conducted?

This module indicates the kind of research needed to be done to support mobilization, and offers some guidelines on how to go about doing that research. It is important directly for mobilizers, and contributes to a management information system needed by managers of mobilization.

Essentially, there are two main kinds of research that are essential to community mobilization:

  1. research done by the mobilizer so as to prepare the most effective empowerment strategies (the focus of this module), and
  2. participatory appraisal done by the community (guided by the mobilizer) as an essential element of its participation in choosing, designing, implementing and monitoring community projects.

The information generated by both kinds of research needs to be recorded in a systematic manner, so that it can be retrieved as needed, as part of an area programme of community empowerment. Without a system to manage the information, the time and effort of research will be wasted by duplication, inconsistency and incomplete information.

As well as this research being an important part of the Mobilization Cycle, it needs to be part of the Management of a Mobilization Programme. Documents in this module include the following

Mobilizer Research Methods concentrates on the initial research that a mobilizer would do, finding out, for example, what would be acceptable and appropriate behaviour for finding out information needed for mobilizing.

Research Questions provides the initial list of kinds of questions a mobilizer needs to answer in order to organize the community for self help.

The paper, Keeping Records, introduces the mobilizer and manager to the need for keeping a paper trail, and storing information in a manner which allows its quick and effective retrieval when needed.

The Survey of Internal Community Resources lists potential sources that a community could use, and which the mobilizer should assess prior to leading community members through participatory appraisal.

Survey of External Resources reminds the reader of the danger of encouraging dependency thinking by relying too much on external sources, then describes governmental and non governmental sources and how they can be tapped.


A Workshop:

A Workshop

 Following the path of least resistance makes all rivers and some men crooked

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