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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Department: Milano General Curriculum
Course Number: NINT 5006
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
Training in research methods is critically important for a career in the field of economic development. The two aims of the Research Methods requirement for the development concentration are to give students the skills to engage critically with research in the development field, and to conduct independent research of their own. This requires the learning of four core competencies. First, students examine how empirical research can support, fail to support, or refute particular theoretical claims; and then learn how to determine the best strategies for defining, framing, and pursing different kinds of research questions. Second, students become familiar with a variety of research skills and techniques that can be utilized as appropriate for different research questions. Third, students are encouraged to develop a strong skill set in some form of quantitative research (GIS or statistics), which they can use to conduct impact assessments, program evaluations and policy analysis over the course of their careers. The aim here is to give students a concrete skill set that they will be able to utilize as development practitioners. Fourth, students become critical consumers of other people's research by developing the ability to assess whether a research question is evaluated appropriately and rigorously, and whether the data supports the conclusion derived. All Research Methods courses pay close attention to the advantages and disadvantages of different research strategies, and the kinds of questions that can and cannot be answered through varying methodological approaches.