Accessing the Inaccessible in Difficult Environments: The Uses and Abuses of Crowdsourcing

This paper discusses the increasing interest in crowdsourcing and other social media as research data collection methods in conflict-affected regions. It draws on a literature review and the author's experiences of setting up a crowdsourced data collection project in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It argues that crowdsourcing can be a useful supplement when conducting research in difficult-to-access areas, but should not replace field research. Reliance on remotely gathered data can give researchers an incomplete understanding of realities on the ground, which privileges the voices of those with most access to the technology.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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News

New article: A typology of interaction between politicians and bureaucrats

Tuesday 14th March 2017

DLP Research Fellow Niheer Dasandi has co-authored a new article on how bureaucrats and politicians interact, and how this affects reform efforts. It appears in 'Public Administration and Development'.

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Power and systems, and their role in developmental change: Guest seminar with Duncan Green

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Seeing power and complex social systems clearly is the first step towards supporting positive developmental change, says Oxfam Strategic Director and DLP research partner Duncan Green. He discussed the themes of his latest book at a recent International Development Department guest seminar at the University of Birmingham.

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