1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Civil Society and Social Movements

Methodological Workshop on Civil Society and UN Summits

Date: 4 - 5 Sep 2003



The project had its first methodological workshop where the six national research teams - Brazil, South Africa, China, Chile, Senegal and Indonesia - met for the first time with the objective of establishing a common frame for research. The workshop was concerned with debating the theoretical and methodological framework of the project and each national research team presented a research proposal that was followed by a discussion with all participants.

The main discussions regarding the theoretical background of the project were centred upon definitions of concepts and relations between the national and international level of analysis. Whereas, on the methodological issues, it was recognized that a common framework should be adapted which would allow for both consistency and diversity. However, a strict research methodology to be implemented in all countries was not produced. Instead a number of ‘framework questions’ were drawn up, with some methodologies and resources being suggested for these. A mixture of both quantitative and qualitative methods was suggested, including surveys, interviews, case studies, and the extensive use of secondary and primary documentation.