What are the trade-offs between rigor and relevance in international development research?

lmckown's picture
08/22/2016 | Lauren McKown

One of the foremost tensions in performing international development research is the trade-offs beween rigor and relevance. When our research attempts to address questions whose answers could change or save lives, it is essential that the research is actionable. On the other hand, as academics, it is critical that our research remains rigorous and thorough so we can stand behind the results.

We explore some of the trade-offs between rigor and relevance in our latest technology evaluation report, "Streamlining a Methodology for Product Evaluation: Water Test Kits in Ahmedabad, India."

As you read and reflect on the report, we'd like to hear from you! How does your organization or institution balance the trade-offs of rigor and relevance in research? What's challenging about this work, and how are you creatively addressing those challenges in your work?

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