Learning "to be" Kinyarwanda : reflections on fieldwork, method and data in the study of Rwanda's transition
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Antwerp :UA, Institute of Development Policy and Management, 2013
IOB working paper / University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy and Management ; 2013:13
University of Antwerp
The objective of this paper is the document the research process underlying a study on the Rwandan transition. An extensive documentation of the research process is needed (although rarely systematically undertaken) in order to understand or assess rigor (scientific and empirical) and reflexive activities deployed in the achievement of the study results. The underlying source of inspiration to do so are questions of validity that guide social science research as such. As a consequence, trustworthiness and phronesis are central concerns due to the particular epistemological intake and research strategy adopted. The paper describes the fieldwork activities, choice and use of research techniques, the reflective process guiding design and analysis, and provides an overview of the data. The paper documents five main research principles underlying and guiding the study: immersion, iteration, multi-sitedness, mixing methods and diachrony. Two main research techniques are discussed in detail: systematic observation activities and a life history approach. A detailed overview of the nature of the available data as well as a reflection on issues of epistemology and ontology concludes.