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Title: Combining research with advocacy and service delivery : experience from NGOs in Malawi
Author: Gooding, Katharine Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 3405
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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There is increasing interest in the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in research. NGOs are typically known for their work as service providers or advocates, but some NGOs conduct research alongside these other activities. NGOs’ involvement in service delivery and advocacy may provide opportunities for research. I assess three such opportunities. First, involvement in service delivery may mean NGOs can identify research questions that respond to frontline knowledge gaps, so ensuring research is relevant. Second, service delivery may provide a source of research data, through examining service delivery activities or using information collected through programme monitoring. Third, NGOs’ advocacy might support communication of research findings, by bringing a commitment to promoting action and channels to share results. These potential advantages of service delivery and advocacy for research are frequently suggested in the literature. However, there is limited evidence on the way these relationships between research, service delivery and advocacy work in practice, or on their variation between different contexts. This leaves little guidance on conditions needed to maximise the value of input from NGOs’ service delivery and advocacy to research. In response, this thesis examines these relationships between research, service delivery and advocacy through the experience of four NGOs in Malawi. I consider whether service delivery provides research questions and data and whether advocacy supports research communication. Based on the case NGOs’ experiences, I identify conditions within and outside NGOs that affect the value of drawing on service delivery and advocacy in these ways and scope to make these connections. I conclude by providing guidance on ways to support an effective role for NGOs’ service delivery and advocacy in research, with recommendations for NGOs, academic partners and donors.
Supervisor: Newell, James ; Emmel, Nick Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available