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Suggested structure for research proposal (see also written doc on web). 1.Introduction (about 1 page) You may here emphasize why your research problem might be of interest, and if so for whom, and why the results of the proposed research might be relevant for development policy and programs.

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Suggested structure for research proposal see also written doc on web

Suggested structure for research proposal(see also written doc on web)

  • 1.Introduction (about 1 page)

  • You may here emphasize why your research problem might be of interest, and if so for whom, and why the results of the proposed research might be relevant for development policy and programs.

  • 2. Research objectives and research questions of the study (about 1 page)

  • General objective(s)

  • 1- 4 research questions leading to some major empirically testable hypotheses

  •  successful research is limited in scope

  • Note: Students receive a separate handout on proposal

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Suggested structure for research proposal continued

Suggested structure for research proposal (continued)

  • 3.Literature review (about 1.5 – 2 pages)

  • Related to the research objectives, questions and hypotheses outlined in section 2, this section reviews the literature, and cites important works that …

  • 3.1 … you consider to be good conceptualisation of (parts or the whole) of your research questions (Ex. Adoption and G. Feder)

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Suggested structure for research proposal continued1

Suggested structure for research proposal (continued)

  • 3.2 … help you review and identify appropriate methods for data collection and data analysis

  • Ex. Analyze participation of the poor in agroforestry program

  • - Look for literature that empirically measures who is poor and who not.

  • 3.3 …. provide you with (partial) answers to your research questions and hypotheses outlined in section 2 under similar or different socio-economic conditions and countries.

  •  Helps to narrow down your research problem

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Purposes of literature review summary

Purposes of literature review (summary)

  • ·       establish a theoretical basis and derive a conceptual framework for your analysis

  • What is a dependent variable (for example share of cultivated land cropped with high-yielding potatoes), and what are independent variables (for example being in a high-altitude village, indicators of human and physical capital of the household and its members, etc.)

  • ·      narrow down or sharpen your research objectives, questions and hypotheses

  • ·      identify data collection instruments and research methods that appear useful for the purposes of your study.

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Conceptual framework 1 page

Conceptual framework (1 page)

  • This section may briefly summarize your major (dependent and independent) variables in your research. It is a result of section 2 and 3.

  • The framework may be summarized in a graph that distinguishes the major variables and their hypothesized relationships.

  • See example of conceptual framework in book by B. Minten and M. Zeller, Chapter 10 on critical triangle of rural development

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Types of research questions when do you need a theory conceptual framework

Types of research questions: When do you need a theory/conceptual framework

  • 1. Descriptive: For example, what are the socio-economic characteristics of farmers growing wheat as compared to farmers without wheat?

  •  asks what is?

  •  no need for a theory, but theory nevertheless would help in guiding you for which variables you wish to ask ‘what is?’-type questions.

  •  for the remaining four questions a theory/conceptual framework is needed

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Types of research questions continued

Types of research questions (continued)

2.Explorative: Is there any relationship between gender of the farmer and the likelihood that he or she grows potatoes?

  • Evaluative: Is credit program A reaching poorer clients than credit program B? Is growing peppers more profitable than growing wheat for farmers that have less than 1 hectare?

  • Explanatory/Control: What are the causes of an observed outcome? For example: What factors explain why certain farmers grow wheat and others not? What is the contribution of family labor and land to overall income in farm households?

    5.Predictive: How will the share of wheat in cultivated area change if the price of wheat increases by 10 %, all other factors held constant?

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Section 5 the research design and data collection 1 2 pages

Section 5.The research design and data collection (1-2 pages)

Step 1: Choice between following principal designs:

  • Case study (useful for Type 1, 2, 3, and 4 research questions, but not for 5)

  • Representative Samples which further can be disaggregated into a number of designs (such as ex post facto, experimental/quasi-experimental)

  • Sometimes a research uses both research designs

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Section 5 the research design continued

Section 5.The research design (continued)

Step 2: Identification of population and sample

for example rural households in South Nyanza (a district in Kenya) or new clients of a certain micro-finance institution

Step 3: Design field research instruments

Questionnaire/ measurement of variables

Example: Partipation in a credit group is a variable  How to ask this variable?

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Suggested structure for research proposal see also written doc on web

Section 6: Select methods for tabular and graphical presentation of results as well as methods of statistical analysis (1-2 pages)

For example, if your research question is whether wheat farmers are richer than barley farmers, you may choose either to:

-        - Cross-tab the average value of assets possessed in each of the two groups, and assess through a t-test whether this difference is statistically significant.

- Graphically show in a bar chart the different value of assets for the two groups.

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


Section 7 planning for survey optional section 1 page

Section 7:  Planning for survey (optional section) (1 page)

Budget

Workplan/Timetable and Logistics

 Is the research feasible within my time and budget constraints, or do I have to go back to one of the previous sections to simplify my problem

 planning of research is a recursive process

5110 Zeller Guidelines for research proposal


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