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Unformatted text preview: 1 Applying Mixed Methods Research to Participatory Development Projects and Local Conflict Mediation: A Case Study from Indonesia 1 Patrick Barron, World Bank Rachael Diprose, University of Oxford Claire Q. Smith, London School of Economics Katherine Whiteside, Brown University Michael Woolcock, University of Manchester 21 January 2008 Abstract An enduring lesson of social theory is that periods of institutional and political change are often associated with conflict. It is less well understood, however, whether and how development projects help, hinder or are incidental to these processes of change. This paper summarizes the methodological strategies underpinning a study designed to assess the ways in which a large participatory development project in rural Indonesia influenced trajectories of local conflict. Drawing upon a range of coherently integrated qualitative and quantitative research methods, it shows how, where and in what order these methods were combined to yield an innovative array of empirical data on which to base assessments regarding the nature and extent of the project’s impact on prevailing local conflicts. We conclude by offering some lessons from our study, and suggestions for others contemplating large-scale mixed methods research on complex issues. 1 The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors alone, and should not be attributed to the various organizations with which they are affiliated. We are grateful to the many individuals and funding agencies that have supported this work and provided detailed feedback on it, but our particular thanks to Scott Guggenheim for giving us the opportunity to undertake the study. Email address for correspondence: [email protected] 34222 Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized 2 I. Introduction This paper summarizes the methodological strategies and choices employed in a study examining the nexus between local conflict and development projects in rural Indonesia. The study sought to: (a) understand the trajectories that local level conflicts take, and the factors that lead to resolution, stalemate, or escalation; (b) examine the impact of the Kecamatan Development Project (KDP), a massive (US$1 billion) World Bank-financed community-driven development project, 2 on the ability of communities to manage conflict; and on that basis (c) make recommendations to those designing and implementing related participatory development and conflict mediation projects in Indonesia (and, where relevant, elsewhere). 3 Because the aim of the study was to uncover program impacts, it grappled with the difficult empirical task of generating evidence to support causal inference. Thus beyond measuring any changes in conflict management capacity, the evaluation sought to directly attribute those changes to their causal sources, disentangling direct and indirect KDP program effects from other forces....
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course USP 480 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.
- Spring '11