Comparative Research

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Using at least three approaches or theories evaluate the usefulness of conducting comparative policy research. The comparative approach to the study of social life has a long tradition dating back to Ancient Greece. In the social sciences comparative research is widely employed to describe the studies of societies, cultures, institutions etc. and changes over time and space, when they are carried out with the intention of using the same research tool to compare systematically the manifestations of the phenomena in more than one temporal or spatial sociocultural setting (Hantrais 2009). Policy research however is seen as a special type of research that can provide community and decision-makers with useful recommendation and possible actions for resolving fundamental problems. Policy research has recently gained much attention as government and international organisations are recognising the important role that research can play in policy development. Policy research is done by a number of different institutions and persons including but not limited to academics, lobby groups, pressure groups. The methods of investigation employed by the investigators must be based on the nature of the research area and the questions being asked. Three approaches of comparative research are studies, Surveys and the review of existing research will be examined. These approaches are useful to comparative research in varying degrees, however each allows comparative policy analysis to recognise problems and identify and understand key issues, support a selected plan of action and to monitor processes and evaluate impact of policies. Case study is one approach to comparative policy that is very useful to policy research as it has brought various benefits. According to Dukeshire and Thurlow (2002) it involves recording and analysing the actual experiences of an organisation or community around specific issues. Thus if the UNDP choose to assess the impact of a policy in two villages it...
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