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Research Project Development and Management – A handbook

Author(s): REBECCA Catalla

Published: 01-Dec-2013
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The reputation of CDRI, Cambodia’s leading independent development policy research institute, stands or falls on the quality and relevance of its research—its design, implementation, analysis, presentation and communication. I am pleased to introduce this new publication Research Project Development and Management—A Handbook, which has been developed as part of our ongoing commitment to building the knowledge, skills and professionalism of Cambodian researchers in undertaking policy relevant research on development issues. We are fortunate at CDRI that we attract some of Cambodia’s brightest young graduates and postgraduates who are interested in contributing to Cambodia’s development through a career in development research. However, they often come to us with limited or uneven knowledge and experience of research project design, methodologies and management, especially when the research aspires to be “policy relevant”.

CDRI’s 2011-15 strategic plan includes a commitment to “deepen the skills and expertise of CDRI’s researchers through technical advice, mentoring, and peer review by other experts in their fields, postgraduate study opportunities for Masters and PhDs, and professional development opportunities to build technical expertise and research management, communication and representation skills”. This is achieved through both in-house capacity building and training, made available to wider participation by young researchers from other institutions where possible, and a policy of actively promoting and supporting postgraduate study and professional development through scholarships and programme-based funding. 

This genesis of this handbook lies in the programme of the first 2008-11 phase of the Development Research Forum (DRF), a partnership of leading Cambodian research institutions—CDRI, the Learning Institute, the Cambodia Economic Association, the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, the Supreme National Economic Council and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, supported by the International Development Research Center of Canada. Its broad goal was to build a “research culture” and to bridge the research-policy gap in Cambodia. Under the umbrella of the DRF partnership, a CDRI-DRF Training on Research Project Development and Management programme was collaboratively designed and delivered to young researchers from these partner institutions. We hope this manual, generated by the programme, will be a useful resource for the future training of young researchers in Cambodia.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who have contributed to either making the programme a success or producing the manual, particularly Dr Rebecca (Pem) Catalla, CDRI’s research adviser, who has been the primary coordinator and driver of this important initiative.

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