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PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988-2001 12 Ethnography and rapid appraisal in doctoral research on poverty

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Document begins: PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988­2001 12 Ethnography and rapid appraisal in doctoral research on poverty Rosemary McGee · Background `objects' are the poorest people in the population. The challenge for poverty research Written from the field, this article presents in the 1990s is to bring the realities of the poor problems, progress and early observations into focus, so that they count to the socially from doctoral fieldwork on poverty and anti- distant policy-makers. poverty policy which combines ethnographic, The methods Rapid Appraisal (RA) and other techniques. It discusses some of the practical and ethical dilemmas facing researchers aiming to use RA My doctoral fieldwork in a poor community in for doctoral fieldwork and offers some rural Colombia seeks to explore the reflections on the basis of my own trial and `perception gap', uncovering poor people's error. perspectives on their condition and to compare this `bottom view' with the `top view' A central question in this article is embodied in policy responses. To explore methodological complementarity: Can methodological approaches for bridging the ethnographic research on poverty offer policy- gap in policy-oriented research, my research makers any policy-relevant information, which spans all levels of the policy process. quicker, cheaper methods cannot? ...

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