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Module Reading List

Research & Project Skills- Experiential Learning, 2021/22, Semester 1, 2
Dr Lisa Thorley
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

PIED5765M PIED5765 Module Reading List

Research & Project Skills- Experiential Learning, 2020/21, Semester F08 Dr Lisa Thorley Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

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SEMESTER 1 - Experiential Learning and Research Skills

Week 1- Introduction to the module

Ebrahim, A.. 2003. Accountability In Practice: Mechanisms for NGOs. World Development 31(5), 813–829

Kilby, P. 2006. Accountability for Empowerment: Dilemmas Facing Non-Governmental Organizations. World Development 34 (6), 951–963.

Lewis, D. and Kanji, N. 2009. Non-Governmental Organizations and Development. Routledge: New York.

Mitlin, D., S. Hickey and A. Bebbington. 2007. Reclaiming Development? NGOs and the Challenge of Alternative. World Development 35 (10), 1699–1720

Tandon, R. & L. David Brown. 2013. Civil societies at crossroads: lessons and implications, Development in Practice, 23:5-6, 784-796. To link to this article:

Andrews, M., Pritchett, L. and Woolcock, M., 2013. Escaping capability traps through problem driven iterative adaptation (PDIA).World development.51, pp.234-24  

Bridge, S., Murtagh, B. and O'Neill, K., 2009. Understanding the social economy and the third sector. Palgrave Macmillan.

Chambers, R. (2017). Can we know better? : reflections for development. Practical Action Publishing.

Chambers, R., (1997). Responsible well-being—A personal agenda for development. World development.25(11), pp.1743-1754.

Clayton, J., Donovan, C. and Merchant, J., 2016. Distancing and limited resourcefulness: Third sector service provision under austerity localism in the north east of England. Urban studies.53(4), pp.723-740.

McGarvey, D. 2017. Poverty safari : understanding the anger of Britain's underclass , Luath Press

Thompson, N. & J. Pascal (2012) Developing critically reflective practice, Reflective practice., 13:2, 311-325, DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795

Thompson, S., & Thompson, N. (2008). The critically reflective practitioner. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  

The following texts provide key general readings for the course:

*Laws, S., with C. Harper and R. Marcus (2003) Research for development : a practical guide London: SCF / Sage

*Mikkelsen, B. (2005) Methods for Development Work and Research New Delhi: Sage (revised edition)

*Desai, V. and R. Potter (2006) Doing development research London: Sage Publications

*Kumar, S. (2003) Methods for community participation : a complete guide for practitioners . ITDG publishing

*Sumner, A. and Tribe, M (2008) International development studies : theories and methods in research and practice . London: Sage

*Thomas, A., and G. Mohan (eds.) (2007) Research skills for policy and development : how to find out fast London: Sage Publications

Also see: Bridging Research and Policy Journal of international development Special Issue August 2005 Vol.17 (6)

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Week 4 - Workshop: Research in Development - The Research Process and Design

Texts marked * are particularly useful and you should start your reading with those.

*Blaxter, L., Hughes C, Tight M. How to Research, 2nd edition, Buckingham: Open University Press.

Bryman, A. and Burgess, R.G. (eds.) (1999) Qualitative Research, London: Sage

Burnham, P. (et al) (2008,2004) Research Methods in PoliticsBasingstoke: Palgrave. 

Casley, D. and D. Lury (1987) Data Collection in Developing Countries Oxford: Clarendon Press

Denscombe, Martyn (2010), The Good Research Guide for Small-Scale Social Research Projects,4th Edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press. Available online (Or 3rdEdition (2007)

*Denzin, N. and Y. Lincoln (2000) Handbook of qualitative research 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Dixon, Beverly R., Gary D. Bouma and G. B. J. Atkinson (1987), A handbook of social science research. A Comprehensive and Practical Guide for Students, New York: Oxford University Press. (Chapter 10 on qualitative research) 

Hammersley, M. (2008) Questioning qualitative inquiry : critical essaysLondon: Sage

Hammond, M. and Wellington, J. (2013) Research Methods : The key concepts , London: Routledge 

Humble, D., (2012) ‘“This isn’t getting easier”: Valuing emotion in development research’, Emotion, Space and Society, 5 (2) (pp.78-85)

Jenkins, K., (2007) ‘Feminist methodologies: Unsettling multiple boundaries in development’ in Smith, M. (eds.), Negotiating Borders and Boundaries: Qualitative Methodology and Development Research, Oxford: Elsevier (pp.83-103)

Jones, N. and A, Sumner (2007) Does mixed methods research matter to understanding childhood wellbeing ? ESRC Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD) working paper #40. Available at .

Liamputtong, P. (2013) Qualitative research methods. Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. Theory and Methods in Political Science, London: Palgrave, 2010 - Please note, alternative editions of this book (1995, 2002 and 2017) are also available in the library.

Matthews, B. and Ross, L. (2010) Research Methods: A practical guide for the social sciences , Harlow: Pearson.

May, T. (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process , Maidenhead: Open University Press. 

*Mayoux, L. (2006) Quantitative, qualitative or participatory: which method, for what and when? Ch. 13 In Desai, V. and R. Potter (2006) Doing development research London: Sage Publications pp. 115-129EBook available

Mellor, M.,(2007) ‘Researching for change’, in Smith, M. (eds), Negotiating Boundaries and Borders: Qualitative Methodology and Development Research, Oxford: Elsevier

Schratz, M. and Walker, R. (1995) Research as Social Change: New Opportunities for Qualitative ResearchLondon and New York: Routledge - critical approaches to qualitative methods. 

Silverman, D. (2000) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook London: Sage

Silverman, D. (2006), Interpreting Qualitative Data, 3rd Edition, London: Sage. (Chapter 2 on ‘What is Qualitative Research?’)

Smith, M., (2007) ‘Negotiating boundaries and borders: qualitative methodology and development research’ in M. Smith (eds) Negotiating Boundaries and Borders: Qualitative Methodology and Development Research, Elsevier: Oxford (pp.1–9)

White, H. (2002) 'Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in Poverty Analysis' World Development 30(12) pp. 511-522

Wolcott, H.F. (1990) Writing up qualitative research Newbury Park, CA: Sage

On ethics and power:

Brodsky, A. (2001) More than Epistemology: relationships in applied research with underserved communities. The journal of social issues 57 (2) pp. 323-335

Gasper, D. and Thanh-Dam Truong (2005) Deepening Development Ethics: from economism to human development to human security. European journal of development research.vol 17 no. 3 pp. 372-384

Smith, L.T. (1999) Decolonizing methodologies : research and indigenous peoples London: Zed Books

Warwick, D.P. (1993) The politics and ethics of field research. In Bulmer, M. and D. Warwick (eds.) Social Research in Developing Countries: Surveys and Censuses in the Third World London: University College Press, pp. 315-330

Wolf, D. (1996) (ed.) Feminist dilemmas in fieldwork Work Boulder: Westview Press

Wilson, K. (1992) 'Thinking about the ethics of fieldwork. In Devereux, S. and Hoddinott, J. (eds.) Fieldwork in developing countries Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 179-199.

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Week 6 - Workshop: Making a Case for Support – Writing Literature Reviews

* Barrientos, S. (2007) Interrogating information through a literature study. Chapter 5 in Thomas, A., and G. Mohan (eds.) (2007) Research skills for policy and development : how to find out fast London: Sage Publications pp. 113-134. EBook available

Becker, H.S. (1986). Writing for social scientists : how to start and finish your thesis, book, or articleChicago: The University of Chicago Press. Chapter 8 EBook available discusses good uses of literature and examines how literature both helps us to develop and limits our thinking. 

Locke, L.F., Waneen, W.Y. & Silverman, S.J. (2007). Proposals that work: A guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals (5th ed.). Newbury Park: Sage Publications. Discusses literature reviews in the context of proposals, but the suggestions given apply to literature reviews written as part of articles or dissertations. 

*Meth, Paula and G. Williams (2006) 'Literature Reviews and Bibliographic Searches. In V. Desai and D. Potter (eds.) Doing development research London: Sage Publications

Spray, S. and Roselle, L. (2012) Research and writing in international relationsLongman. Chapter 2

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Week 8 - Workshop: Using and Assessing Sources

Document analysis

* Bowen, G.A., (2009) Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research9(2), pp.27-40.

Fitzgerald, T., 2012. Documents and documentary analysis. Research methods in educational leadership and management, pp.296-308.

Halperin, S. and Heath, O. (2012) Political research: methods and practical skills , Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 14 ‘Textual Analysis’

Harding, J., (2019), Qualitative Data Analysis: From start to finish, Los Angeles: Sage Publications Ltd

Jennings, Michael, (2006) 'Using Archives'. In V. Desai and D. Potter (eds.) Doing development research London: Sage Publications EBook available

Jupp, V. and Norris, C. (1993) Traditions in documentary analysis' in Hammersley, M. ed., Social research : philosophy, politics and practice. Sage, pp.37-51

Matthews, B. and Ross, L. (2010) Research methods : a practical guide for the social sciences , Harlow: Pearson - chapter 8 

McCulloch, G., 2004. Documentary research in education, history, and the social sciences. Routledge.

Rapley, T., 2008. Doing conversation, discourse and document analysis. Sage. - chaper 9

Discourse Analysis

Dumire, P.L. (2012) Political Discourse Analysis: Exploring the Language of Politics and the Politics of Language, Language and linguistics compass  6, 11, 735-751

* Howarth, D. ‘Discourse Theory and Political Analysis’ in Scarborough and Tanenbaum, eds (1998), Research strategies in the social sciences : a guide to new approaches, Ch. 12. Pp 268-294 

Fairclough, N. 1992. Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press

Laclau, E. ‘Discourse’ in Goodin, Robert A., & Philip, Pettit (eds) A companion to contemporary political philosophy , (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995): 431-437. 

Content Analysis

Evans, L., & Davies, K. (2000). No sissy boys here: A content analysis of the representation of masculinity in elementary school reading textbooks. Sex roles42(3-4), 255-270.

* Neuendorf, K.A. (2017). ‘Chapter 1: Defining Content Analysis” in Neuendorf, K.A. The content analysis guidebook 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 

Lacy, S., Watson, B. R., Riffe, D., & Lovejoy, J. (2015). Issues and best practices in content analysis. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly92(4), 791–811. 

Macnamara, J. (2005). Media content analysis: Its uses, benefits and best practice methodology. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal6(1), 1–34.

Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice. Sage Publications.

Visual Methods

Banks, M. (2015). Visual Methods in Social Research.London ; Thousand Oaks, California : SAGE

Buckingham, D. (2009). 'Creative 'visual methods in media research: possibilities, problems and proposals. Media, culture & society. , 31(4), 633-652.

* Harman, S. (2020).Seeing politics : film, visual method, and international relations. McGill-Queen’s University Press.  

Markham, A. (2013). Remix Cultures, Remix Methods: Reframing Qualitative Inquiry for Social Media Contexts. In N. Denzin & M. Giardina (Eds.), Global Dimensions of Qualitative Inquiry (pp. 53–83). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc. Available online at:

* Rose, G, Visual methodologies: An introduction to researching with visual materials. London: Sage. 

Swain, H. (2013). Research funding emphasis on 'impact' spawns a new industry. The Guardian.

Rowe, D. (2017). The university as a 'giant newsroom': the uses of academic knowledge revisited. Culture Unbound, 9(3), 228-239.

van den Scott, L. J. K. (2018). Visual Methods in EthnographyJournal of contemporary ethnography. . 47(6) (Special issue on Visual Ethnography), 719 – 728.


Electronic sources through the world wide web are also an important source of development sources. Listed below are some useful websites, but there are hundreds more including the organisation for your volunteer placement. As you progress you should bookmark all the websites you find useful. Google is the best search engine for development websites. This is the website for the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex - this is the biggest UK based Development Studies site for information and search tools. - for up to date information from the UK Department for International Development The is the World Bank"s main site. They have hundreds of papers and reports online. This is the website of the World Development Movement. They publish a lot of highly professional reports - some quite critical of mainstream policy. This is the website of OXFAM, one of the largest UK based NGOs - lots of reports.

Most of the development agencies - UN and NGOs - have a website with their name or initials - after them. Some examples are given below. You can find many more. Save the Children Fund Christian Aid United Nations Development Programme United Nations Research Institute for Social Development The Oneworld network provides access to a huge range of organisations and materials on different development themes.

Also check alternative newswebsite such as CounterpunchTruthdigTruthoutOpendemocracyDemocracynow etc.

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Week 10 - Workshop: Understanding Others’ Worlds – Using Interviews and Focus Group Discussions

Borland, K. (1991) “That’s not what I said”: Interpretive conflict in oral narrative research in Gluck, S.B. and Patai, D. (eds) Women's words : the feminist practice of oral history Routledge: London, pp. 63-75

David, M., & Sutton, C. D. (2010). Social research : an introduction  (2nd ed.). London: SAGE, chapter 6

Ergun, A., and Erdemir, E., (2010) ‘Negotiating Insider and Outsider Identities in the Field: “Insider” in a Foreign Land; “Outsider” in One’s Own Land’, Field Methods, 22(1) (pp.16–38)

Farquhar, C. (Das, Rita) (1999) ‘Are focus groups suitable for ‘sensitive’ topics?’, in Barbour, R.S. and Kitzinger, J. (eds.) Developing focus group research : politics, theory and practice Sage: London, pp. 47-63

Francis, E. (1992) Qualitative research: collecting life histories. In Devereux, S. and J. Hoddinott (eds.) Fieldwork in developing countries Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 87-101

Fylan, F. (2005) ‘Semi-Structured Interviewing.’ In: Miles, J. and Gilbert, P. (eds.) A handbook of research methods for clinical and health psychology . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

King, N. and Horrocks, C. (2010) Interviews in qualitative research Sage: London

Kitzinger. J. (1994) The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interaction between research participants Sociology of health and illness 16 (1) pp. 104–121

Kvale, S. (1996) Interviews : an introduction to qualitative research interviewing, London: Sage.

Liamputtong, P. (2011) Focus group methodology: Principle and practice, Sage Publications  Matthews, B. and Ross, L. (2010) Research methods : a practical guide for the social sciences  Harlow: Pearson, chapter C4

McGinn, N. and Borden, A. (1995) Framing questions, constructing answers : linking research with education policy for developing countries Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, Mass

Mitchell, L. (1999) ‘Combining focus groups and interviews: telling how it is; telling how it feels’, in Barbour, R.S. and Kitzinger, J. (eds.) Developing focus group research : politics, theory and practiceSage: London, pp. 36-46

Morgan, D. (1997) Focus groups as qualitative research London: Sage Publications

Morgan, D. and R. Kreuger (1993) When to use Focus Groups and Why. In D. Morgan (ed.) Successful focus groups : advancing the state of the art London: Sage Publications

Pini, B. (2002) ‘Focus groups, feminist research and farm women: Opportunities for empowerment in rural social research’, Journal of rural studies. 18, 339-351

Pratt, B. and P. Loizos (1992) Choosing research methods : data collection for development workers Oxford: Development Guidelines No 7 Oxfam

*Pole, C. and R. Lampard (2002) Practical social investigation : qualitative and quantitative methods in social research . esp. ch. 6 'Interviewing: listening and talking' pp. 89-125. 

Richards, D. (1999) Elite Interviewing: Approaches and Pitfalls. Politics. 16(3): 199-204

Rubin, H. and Gubrium (1995)The active interview , London: Sage.

Seale, C. (2012) Researching society and culture , London, SAGE, chapter 14

Slater, R. (2000) Using life histories to explore change: women’s urban struggles in Cape Town, South Africa. Gender and development 8 (2) pp. 38-46

Slim, A. and Thompson, P. (1993) Listening for a change : oral testimony and development London: Panos

Stroh, M. Qualitative Interviewing, in Burton, D. (ed) Research training for social scientists : a handbook for postgraduate researchers (London: Sage, 2000)

Stark, S., & Torrance, H. (2005). Case Study, in Somekh, B., and Lewin, C., (eds), Research Methods in Social Science, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd. (pp.33-40)

Van Manen, M., (1997) Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy, New York: Routledge

Wilkinson, S. (1999) How useful are focus groups in feminist research?’, in Barbour, R.S. and Kitzinger, J. (eds.) Developing focus group research : politics, theory and practice, Sage: London, pp. 64-78

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Useful Readings on Participatory research:

Agarwal, Bina (2001) Participatory Exclusions, Community Forestry, and Gender: An Analysis for South Asia and a Conceptual Framework. World Development 29 (10) pp. 1623-1648

Bhattacharjee, Parinita (2000), Practical Notes: Stepping Stones—a participatory tool to integrate gender into HIV/AIDS work. Development in practice (10) 5

Botchway, Karl (2001), Paradox of Empowerment: Reflections on a Case Study from Northern Ghana. World Development 29 (1) pp. 135-153

Burkey, S. (1993) People first : a guide to self-reliant participatory rural development London: Zed Books

*Chambers, R. (2007) From PRA to PLA and Pluralism. IDS Working Paper 286, Brighton: IDS (

Chambers, R. (1997) Whose reality counts? : putting the first last Intermediate Technology Publications

Chambers, R. (1994) The Origins and Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal World development. 22(7) pp.953-969

Chambers, R. (1994) Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Analysis of Experience World development. 22 (9) pp. 1253-1268

Chambers, R. et al (eds.) (1989) Farmer first : farmer innovation and agricultural research Research Intermediate Technology Publications

Gladwin, C., J. Peterson & A. C. Mwale (2002) The Quality of Science in Participatory Research: A Case Study from Eastern Zambia. World Development Vol. 30 (4) pp.523–543

Habgood, L. (1998) Health and livelihoods in rural Angola : a participatory research project Oxford: Oxfam

Kumar, K. (ed.) (1993) Rapid appraisal methods Washington D.C.: World Bank

*Kumar, S. (2003) Methods for community participation : a complete guide for practitioners . ITDG publishing

*Lilja, Nina and Mauricio Bellon (2008) Some common questions about participatory research: a review of the literature. Development in practice 18 (4&5)

Mayoux, L. (1995) Beyond Naivety: Women, Gender Inequality and Participatory Development. Development and change (26) pp. 235-258

Mayoux, L. and Chambers, R. (2005) Reversing the paradigm: quantification, participatory methods and pro-poor impact assessment. Journal of international development. 17(2) pp. 271 – 298

*Mayoux. L. and H. Johnson (2007) Investigation as empowerment: using participatory methods. Ch. 8 in Thomas and Mohan Research skills for policy and development : how to find out fast (eds.) (op cit) pp. 180-207. Available online

Morse, R., A. Rahman and K. Johnson (1995) Grassroot horizons : connecting participatory development initiatives east and west Intermediate Technology Publications.

Mosse, D. (1994) Authority, Gender and Knowledge: theoretical reflections on the practice of participatory rural appraisal Development and change. 25: 497-526

Nelson, N. and S. Wright (eds.) (1995) Power and participatory development : theory and practice Intermediate Technology Publications

Okali, C. et al. (1994) Farmer participatory research : rhetoric and reality Intermediate Technology Publications

PLA Notes 42 (2001) Children's participation : evaluating effectiveness London: IIED

Rahman, Md A. (1992) People's self development : perspectives of participatory action research : a journey through experience London: Zed Books

Robb, C. (1999) Can the poor influence policy? participatory poverty assessments in the developing world Washington, D.C.: World Bank

*Ruggeri Laderchi, C. 2001. Participatory Methods in the Analysis of Poverty: A Critical Review . Working Paper #62.QEHWP62. Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. (A shorter version of this is available at

*Slocum, R. et al. (1995) Power, process and participation : tools for change London: Intermediate Technology Publications

Smith, K. & C. Barrett (2000) Participatory Risk Mapping for Targeting Research and Assistance: With an Example from East African Pastoralists. World Development 28 (11) pp. 1945-1959

Smith, S., D. Williams, with N. Johnson (eds.) (1997) Nurtured by knowledge : learning to do participatory action-research New York: Apex Press Ottawa: International Development Research Centre

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO): ‘Database: Field tools- Participation’ (provides presentations of various participatory methods, approaches and tools)   

Wilkinson, S. (1998) Focus Groups in Feminist Research: Power, interaction and the construction of meaning. Women's studies international forum. 21 (1) pp. 111-125

This list was last updated on 30/09/2021