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Methodology and methods in humanitarian studies

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 2200-9HA-13 Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.9 / (0319) Programy i kwalifikacje związane z naukami społecznymi, gdzie indziej niesklasyfikowane
Nazwa przedmiotu: Methodology and methods in humanitarian studies
Jednostka: Wydział Prawa i Administracji
Grupy: Humanitarian Action
Punkty ECTS i inne: 5.00
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Tryb prowadzenia:

w sali

Skrócony opis:

The objective of the course is to introduce students to research methods of social science applicable in both academic study of humanitarian action and the practice thereof. Skills and knowledge obtained during this course should in particular be useful in designing and conducting evaluation studies of humanitarian intervention, completing need assessments in the field, analysing policy objectives, and collaborating with specialised research agencies.

As designing and conducting empirical research requires both knowledge and skill, the main principle of the course is to combine theoretical discussion of research methodology with practical training involving both fieldwork and data analysis. To that end students will be asked to participate in research exercises and conduct a research project of their own.

Pełny opis:

I. Introduction

Organisation of the course.

Basic notions in methodology of humanitarian research.

Qualitative, quantitative and mixed research strategies

Common applications of empirical knowledge in humanitarian action

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapters I & II

Recommended reading: Dijkzeul, Hilhorst, and Walker 2013

Writing assignment: none

Week 2 – 1.03.2016

II. Research design

Conceptualisation of research

Units of analysis

Correlation and causality

Operationalisation of concepts

Quality control

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapters IV & V

Recommended reading: Clarke et al. 2014

Writing assignment: Drafting a conceptual research proposal - deadline 7.03.2016 , submission via Blackboard

Week 3 – 8.03.2016

III. Doing interviews, pt. I: structured interviews

Types of questions

Structure of interview

Methods of executing surveys

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter IX

Recommended readings: Henson and Lindstrom 2013, Doocy et al. 2011

Writing assignment: preparation of a questionnaire - deadline 14.03.2016 , submission via survey site.

Week 4 - 15.03.2016

IV. Sampling

Descriptive and inferential statistics

Types of samples

Sampling errors and bias

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter VII

Recommended reading: Jacobsen and Landau 2003

Writing assignment: none

Research exercise I: execution of a sample survey, 5 interviews -deadline 21.03.2016, submission via survey site.

Week 5 - 22.03.2016

V. Analyzing quantitative data pt. I: survey data.

Introduction to quantitative data analysis

Software for analysis of quantitative data

Types of analysis

Interpretation of quantitative data

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter IX

Recommended reading: Mazurana, Benelli, and Walker 2013

Writing assignment: - interpretation of survey data gathered during exercise I (300 words) - deadline 29.03.2016, submission via Blackboard

Week 6 - 30.03.2016

VI. Doing interviews, pt. II: in-depth interviews

Objectives of qualitative research

Types of qualitative research

Types and purposes of triangulation

Preparing for in-depth interviews

Conducting in-depth interviews

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter IX

Recommended reading: Lucini 2014, chap. 5, 6, 8, Höijer 2004

Writing assignment: preparation of a script for an in-depth interview - deadline 4.04.2016 , submission via Blackboard.

Week 7 - 5.04.2016

VII. Ethical and political concerns in humanitarian research

Power relations in research

Consent of participants

Possible threats

Fads and foibles of evidence-based policy

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter III

Recommend reading: Mackenzie et al. 2007

Research exercise II: conducting and transcribing one in-depth interview - deadline 11.04.2016, submission via qualitative research site.

Week 8 - 12.04.2016

VIII. Analyzing qualitative data I: grounded approach

Types of qualitative analysis

Grounded theory as a methodological principle

Inductive coding

Theory building

Software for analysing and visualising qualitative data

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter XIII

Recommended reading: Atlani-Duault 2008, chap. 4

Writing assignment: coding and interpretation (300 words) of qualitative data obtained during exercise II - deadline 18.04.2016. Submission via qualitative research site and Blackboard.

Week 9 - 19.04.2016

IX. Collecting/Analyzing quantitative data, pt. II: Using official data.

Sources of official data

Dangers and common problems

Using software for analyzing official data

Building indices

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter VI

Recommended reading: Humanitarian Response Index 2011: Addressing the Gender Challenge 2011

Research exercise III: analysis and interpretation (300 words) of data on a selected topic in humanitarian research - deadline 25.04.2016. Submission via Blackboard

Week 10 - 26.04.2016

X. Observing.

Types of observation

Stages of observation in the field

Production of evidence

Reading assignment: Patton, Chapter 6

Recommended reading: Hyndman 2000, chap. 4

Research exercise IV: - participant observation in a site relevant for humanitarian research, provision of notes from fieldwork - deadline 9.05.2016. Submission via survey research site.

Week 11 – 3.05.2016

No class - state holiday

Week 12 – 10.05.2016

XI. Content analysis

Characteristics of the technique

Types of content analysis


Coding schemes

Reading assignment: Krippendorf, Chapters 2, 4.1, 5.1 to 5.3, 7.1 and 7.4

Research exercise V: selection and preparation of content for analysis - deadline 16.05.2016. Submission via qualitative research site.

Week 13 - 17.05.2016

XII. Analysing qualitative data, pt. II: structured and mixed approaches

Quantitative analysis of qualitative data

Qualitative analysis of quantitative data

Intercoder reliabilty

Validity criteria

Reading assignment: Krippendorf, Chapter 9

Recommended reading: Zacher, Brehm, and Savelsberg 2014

Writing assignment: analysis and interpretation of data (300 words) obtained in exercises IV and V. Deadline 23.05.2016. Submission via Blackboard.

Week 14 - 24.05.2016

XIII. Analysing quantitative data, pt. III: Big data and GIS in humanitarian research

Reading assignment: Tomaszewski 2014, 1,3,8

Recommended reading: Meier 2015, chap. 2

Final research project, stage I: writing a proposal. Deadline 30.05.2016. Submission via Blackboard.

Week 15 – 31.05.2016

XIV. Applying research tools: evaluation studies

Reading assignment: Babbie, Chapter XII

Recommended reading: Puri et al. 2015

Final research project, stage II: designing research tools. Deadline 6.06.2015. Submission via Blackboard, survey site and/or qualitative research site.

Week 16 – 7.06.2016

XV. Applying research tools: need assessments

Reading assignment: Humanitarian Needs Assessment: The Good Enough Guide 2015

Final research project, stage III: conducting the research.

Exam week - 14.06.2016

Final research project, stage IV: data analysis and interpretation. Submission of a report (1000 words). Deadline 20.06.2016. Submission via Blackboard.

Final deadline for delivering all missing or corrected assignments - 20.06.2016


Mandatory reading (excerpts):

1. Babbie, Earl, 2014, The Basics of Social Research, Cengage. (hereinafter "Babbie")

2. Krippendorf. Klaus, 2004, Content Analysis. An Introduction to its Methodology. Sage (2nd edition)

3. Patton, Michael Q, 2001, Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, Sage.

4. Tomaszewski, Brian. 2014. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Disaster Management. 1 edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

5. Humanitarian Needs Assessment: The Good Enough Guide. 2015. Practical Action.

Recommended reading (to be used as additional/illustration material):

1. Atlani-Duault, Laëtitia. 2008. Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries: An Anthropological Perspective. Routledge.

2. Clarke, M., C. Allen, F. Archer, D. Wong, A. Eriksson, and J. Puri. 2014. “What Evidence Is Available and What Is Required, in Humanitarian Assistance.” International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, London.

3. Dijkzeul, Dennis, Dorothea Hilhorst, and Peter Walker. 2013. “Introduction: Evidence-Based Action in Humanitarian Crises.” Disasters 37: 1–19.

4. Doocy, Shannon, Adam Sirois, Jamie Anderson, Margarita Tileva, Elizabeth Biermann, J. Douglas Storey, and Gilbert Burnham. 2011. “Food Security and Humanitarian Assistance among Displaced Iraqi Populations in Jordan and Syria.” Social Science & Medicine 72 (2): 273–82.

5. Henson, Spencer, and Johanna Lindstrom. 2013. “‘A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep’? Understanding Public Support for Aid: The Case of the United Kingdom.” World Development 42: 67–75.

6. Höijer, Birgitta. 2004. “The Discourse of Global Compassion: The Audience and Media Reporting of Human Suffering.” Media, Culture & Society 26 (4): 513–31

7. Humanitarian Response Index 2011: Addressing the Gender Challenge. 2011. Madrid: Dara.

8. Hyndman, Jennifer. 2000. Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism. U of Minnesota Press.

9. Jacobsen, Karen, and Loren B. Landau. 2003. “The Dual Imperative in Refugee Research: Some Methodological and Ethical Considerations in Social Science Research on Forced Migration.” Disasters 27 (3): 185–206.

10. Lucini, Barbara. 2014. Disaster Resilience from a Sociological Perspective: Exploring Three Italian Earthquakes as Models for Disaster Resilience Planning. Springer Science & Business.

11. Mackenzie, Catriona, Christopher McDowell, Eileen Pittaway, A. Zwi, Grove, N, Zion, D, Tarantola, D., and Silove, D. 2007. “Beyond ‘Do No Harm’: The Challenge of Constructing Ethical Relationships in Refugee Research.” Journal of Refugee Studies 20 (2): 299–319.

12. Mazurana, Dyan, Prisca Benelli, and Peter Walker. 2013. “How Sex- and Age-Disaggregated Data and Gender and Generational Analyses Can Improve Humanitarian Response.” Disasters 37: S68–82.

13. Meier, Patrick. 2015. Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data Is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response. Null edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

14. Puri, Jyotsna, Anastasia Aladysheva, Vegard Iversen, Yashodhan Ghorpade, and Tilman Brück. 2015. “What Methods May Be Used in Impact Evaluations of Humanitarian Assistance?”

15. Zacher, Meghan, Hollie Nyseth Brehm, and Joachim J. Savelsberg. 2014. “NGOs, IOs, and the ICC: Diagnosing and Framing Darfur.” In Sociological Forum, 29:29–51. Wiley Online Library.

Efekty uczenia się:


• Has developed specialised knowledge and a critical understanding of research methods appropriate for the humanitarian field.


• Has demonstrated the ability to identify and justify research methods that are ethically appropriate for scientific research in the humanitarian workfield.

• Has demonstrated the ability to implement research methods for humanitarian research in a controlled setting.


• Has developed the capacity to reflect on the use of a method and the knowledge gained thereof in terms of ethical aspects and the researcher's position.

• Has studied a research topic in depth with an application of relevant methodology, learns from past experiences in order to be prepared for a bigger humanitarian research

Metody i kryteria oceniania:

Activity during class - 20%

Research excercises - 6*8% = 48%

Final research project - 32%

8. Assessment criteria

Activity during class: Quality and quantity of contribution during class discussions and activities,

Research excercises: Quality of individual work, Quality of collaboration with others, Time discipline:

Final research project: Quality of individual work, Quality of collaboration with others,Time discipline

Zajęcia w cyklu "Semestr letni 2020/21" (w trakcie)

Okres: 2021-02-22 - 2021-06-13
Wybrany podział planu:

zobacz plan zajęć
Typ zajęć: Seminarium, 30 godzin więcej informacji
Koordynatorzy: (brak danych)
Prowadzący grup: Marcin Romanowicz, Tomasz Stawecki
Lista studentów: (nie masz dostępu)
Zaliczenie: Przedmiot - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Seminarium - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.