CARE Failing Forward
Answering Practical Questions Instead of Academic Ones: How to design research that makes more sustainable programming

Answering Practical Questions Instead of Academic Ones: How to design research that makes more sustainable programming

January 9, 2020

Learning to be less dogmatic about answering the most important academic questions, but instead focus on the practical questions that would allow project teams to "innovate and push" around creating sustainable programs for WASH in schools. Matt Freeman from Emory University and Peter Lochery from CARE talk about what they learned trying to create research that moved programs forward, and allowed us to get better at the work--even when it wouldn't contribute to publications in prestigious journals. They talk about 13 years of research partnership in the SWASH+ project--and how lots of smaller, practical studies with rigorous methods were more useful than one big RCT.

Square Pegs and Round Holes: Fitting research to community needs

Square Pegs and Round Holes: Fitting research to community needs

October 16, 2019

Anne Sprinkel and Dipendra Sharma from CARE's Tipping Point project talk about the challenges in implementing RCTs, and the risk of sacrificing communities' needs to the methodological rigor that researchers demand. "Make sure you have a good reason for doing an RCT," says Sprinkel. Sharma adds, "Start with good programming, then build research around it." They also have some great tips for managing expectations, clear communication, and just how long it takes to do it right (Hint: it's a lot longer than you think).

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