Wednesday, 19 March 2014

News Release: CODESRIA Methodology Workshop Series

Theme: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Social Science Research
Venue:  Dakar, Senegal
Date:  1st – 5th September, 2014

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the 2014 session of an initiative targeted at those members of the African social research community who, in their universities, are responsible for teaching social science research methods at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In cognisance of the multi-faceted crises confronting the African higher education system in general and the universities in particular, CODESRIA has invested itself in offering platforms for postgraduate students and mid-career professionals to be offered opportunities for training in quantitative and qualitative research methods. The first tranche of such training opportunities centred on quantitative research methods. Over the last few years, the accent was shifted to qualitative research methods. Organised as advanced research seminars at which participants were exposed to various methodological techniques and their roots in the history and philosophy of science. CODESRIA organises five research methodology workshops every year on the basis of one per sub-region, one specially dedicated to Nigeria and English-speaking countries of West and Central Africa, and one for trainers. This last one brings together researchers who have responsibility for imbuing others with the basic skills they require in order to be successful researchers.

The rationale for all CODESRIA methodology workshops remains the same: As a field of knowledge, quantitative and qualitative methods have a specialist status and it is not given to all social scientists to fully master both technical details and philosophical underpinnings. Also, the field of social science research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, have undergone a considerable amount of evolution marked by an incremental improvement in the tools and techniques available to researchers. And yet, historically, it is a relatively weak area of pedagogy in African social research; its weakness was exacerbated by the massive brain that affected the university system in the aftermath of crises in the university system. This development constituted a major disadvantage for younger social researchers and was refracted into the overall quality of the research carried out. Remedying the gap became a matter for urgent concern. The training of trainers programme represents the most recent in the series of interventions developed by CODESRIA. It was launched in the context of the organic inter-connection between the research purpose of the university and the mandate and programmatic strategy of the Council.

For the 2014 session of the training of trainers’ workshop, it is proposed to gather up to 25 participants. The workshop will be conducted in English and French. In addition to the presentations to be made by invited resource persons, the workshop will be structured as a forum for close interaction and networking among the participants so that, beyond the formal sessions, they would continue to share experiences.  Each session will be facilitated by a convenor who will be assisted by two resource persons. The session will be organised over five working days.

Those interested in applying to participate in the 2014 session are invited to submit a duly completed application form; a written application; a copy of their course outline; a short write-up on the major problems they encounter in teaching their methodology classes; a letter of institutional support from their departmental head or faculty dean indicating that they do teach courses in methodology; and an updated copy of their curriculum vitae. Those interested in being considered to serve as convenor or resource persons are invited to send a short letter of application; a copy of their curriculum vitae; an outline of the issues they wish to cover in their presentations; and a sample of one or more of their most recent publication(s). All applications must be received at the CODESRIA Executive Secretariat by 30 May 2014. Applications should be addressed to: 

The CODESRIA Training of Trainers Methodology Programme
The CODESRIA Secretariat
BP 3304, Dakar, CP 18524, Senegal
Tel.: +221-33 825 98 22/23 - Fax: +221-33 824 12 89

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