Recent discourse in the development field has been directed to the question of how to maintain and enhance the quality of science in agricultural research using participatory methods. Discussion has also focused on the question of how to combine microlevel research/extension efforts using participatory methods with scientific methods employing rigorous and statistical testing techniques. Is there a tradeoff between researchers' use of microlevel, gender-sensitive, ethnographic participatory methods and a commitment to “the scientific method,” with its conventional assumptions about sampling, data collection, hypothesis testing, and use of standard measures of statistical significance? If there is such a tradeoff, which of the two methods should be given the greater attention? Should scientific and rigorous testing methods take precedence in the agricultural science community over use of farmer-sensitive participatory methods? Should scientific rigor be sacrificed for ethnographic accuracy, or vice versa ?
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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