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Development Fieldwork

Development Fieldwork
A Practical Guide

Second Edition
Edited by:

February 2014 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book provides an invaluable guide to undertaking development fieldwork in both the developing world and in western contexts. It takes you through all the key stages in development research and covers:


  • Research design and the roles of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Research using archival, textual and virtual data, along with using the internet ethically.
  • Practical as well as personal issues, including funding, permissions, motivation and attitude.
  • Culture shock, ethical considerations and working with marginalized, vulnerable or privileged groups, from indigenous peoples through to elites and corporations.
  • How to write up your findings.

Sensitive, engaging and accessible in tone, the text is rich in learning features; from boxed examples to bullet-pointed summaries and questions for reflection. Development Fieldwork is the perfect companion for students engaged in research across development studies, geography, social anthropology or public policy.

Regina Scheyvens and Sharon McLennan
Warwick E. Murray and John Overton
Designing Development Research
John Overton and Peter van Diermen
Quantitative Research
Rochelle Stewart-Withers, Glenn Banks, Andrew McGregor and Litea Meo-Sewabu
Qualitative Research
Sharon McLennan and Gerard Prinsen
Something Old, Something New: Research Using Archives, Texts and Virtual Data
Maria Borovnik, Helen Leslie and Donovan Storey
Practical Issues
Henry Scheyvens, Regina Scheyvens and Barbara Nowak
Personal Issues
Sharon McLennan, Donovan Storey and Helen Leslie
Entering the Field
Glenn Banks and Regina Scheyvens
Ethical Issues
Regina Scheyvens, Henry Scheyvens and Warwick E. Murray
Working with Marginalised, Vulnerable or Privileged Groups
Sara Kindon and Julie Cupples
Anything to Declare? The Politics and Practicalities of Leaving the Field
Julie Cupples and Sara Kindon
Returning to University and Writing the Field
Regina Scheyvens
Ways Forward

This is a fantastic collection of the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of development-related fieldwork. From ethical concerns to practical encounters, the volume offers clear and useful advice for both first time researchers and seasoned academics on negotiating ‘the field’. Already one of the most dog-eared books on my shelf!

Dr. Simon Springer
University of Victoria, Canada

Development Fieldwork is without doubt the best available guide to dealing with practical, methodological and ethical issues in 'development' research, within and across 'North' and 'South'. It addresses both long-standing and more recently emerging research issues with sensitivity, insight, good sense and a clear commitment to engaged, responsible research practices and relationships. It is a vital resource for undergraduate dissertation students and postgraduates, but has much to offer even experienced researchers. Development Fieldwork is an essential resource.

Dr. Emma Mawdsley
University of Cambridge

An excellent overview of the pitfalls and problems of fieldwork in remote places... elegant, incisive and enjoyable... good humoured and eminently practical - the "Lonely Planet" guide to the field.

Professor John Connell
The University of Sydney, Australia

The writers through the ‘gift of the gab’ and brilliant advocacy in the temple of development have forged useful approaches in the furnace of practical experiences for the benefit of new, upcoming, emerging and established development researchers.

Prof. Oladele O. Idowu
International Journal of Agricultural Management

Development Fieldwork is an excellent practical guide that will assist students in approaching the fieldwork component in the course. This book will be recommended for the 2017 group of students.

Miss Engela van der klashorst
biokinetics, sport and recreation, University of Pretoria
June 22, 2015

A very reader-friendly text which raises and explores a range of relevant issues in terms of research ethics and methodologies.

Excellent value for money and a very good introductory text.

Mr Patrick Meehan
Education , Canterbury Christ Church University
May 14, 2015

A very useful book both for students preparing their own future development research projects and more experienced researchers. Apart from sound theoretical basis it provides readers with many useful practical tips - all content is very accessible.

Dr Adam Marszk
Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology
June 21, 2014

This is an extremely useful, practice-directed guide to better fieldwork in development settings. This year I will be using it to anchor the work of my programme as the students prepare for their fieldwork and related research projects. Highly recommended.

Dr Conor Galvin
College of Human Sciences, University College Dublin
May 28, 2014

Really an interesting guide for academics and practitioners alike. It gives insight into the day-to-day challenges of any professional working in the field of development cooperation.

Dr Meik Nowak
IEE, Ruhr University Bochum
April 24, 2014
  • Chapters on Research Using Archival, Textual and Virtual Data
  • More diverse research contexts, partnership working, working in 'remote' areas, post-conflict research, and research in western contexts
  • Further content on analysing qualitative and quantitative data and mixed methods
  • More learning features including bullet-pointed summaries and reflection questions

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter Two: Designing Development Research

Preview this book

Regina Scheyvens

Regina Scheyvens heads the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University, New Zealand. She combines a passion for teaching about international development with research on tourism and development. She has a particular interest in sustainable development options for people living in small island states. In addition to Development Fieldwork, Regina has published books on Tourism and Poverty (2010) and Tourism for Development: Empowering Communities (2002), along with articles on topics such as backpacker tourism, ecotourism, sustainable tourism and empowerment. More About Author

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