Innovative Methods for Research on Social and Political Action in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings
IDS Working Paper 487
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Fragile and conflict-affected settings present particular challenges for researchers seeking to study the effect of social and political action (SPA). These challenges are not simply due to prevalent violence and conflict, but contexts of insecurity can restrict the flow of information, key actors can be hard to identify, and if information can be found, vital pieces of the picture may be missing. This paper seeks to explore what particular combinations of empirical methods are best suited for research into three distinct aspects of SPA: the context in which it occurs, its type and nature, and the identification of pathways through which SPA can lead to empowerment and accountability. The paper assesses nine methodologies in order to suggest an effective and innovative mix of strategies to match to criteria in making decisions about how to study SPA in fragile and conflict-affected settings.