Conducting Research in Conservation: Social Science Methods and Practice (Book)

This is the first textbook on social science methods written specifically for use in the field of conservation. It provides a practical and comprehensive guide to social science research methods that will be useful for practitioners of community-based forest monitoring. It could complement the information on biodiversity monitoring presented in this book by Toby Gardner. As well as tips and methods, the book explains key social science concepts and has narratives from practitioners describing practical challenges they have faced in the field.

The chapters in Section I cover planning a research project, including the importance of social sciences for conservation, defining the focus and objectives, and how to select and develop a methodology and sampling strategy. Section II looks in more detail at a range of methods, both qualitative and quantitative, with chapters on participant observation, interviewing, designing questionnaires, various participatory methods for community workshops, participatory mapping, and ethnobotanical methods for documenting local environmental knowledge and change. The chapters in Section III look at issues to consider during fieldwork with communities, including preparing for fieldwork, ethical considerations, and the relationships between researchers and the community. Section IV covers data processing and statistical analysis for quantitative and qualitative data. Section V covers writing up, dissemination and follow up after the formal end of a research project.

ISBN: 978-0-415-45792-7

Author(s) 
Helen Newing, with contributions from Christine Eagle, Rajindra Puri and C W Watson
Year 
2011
Resource type 
Manuals and textbooks
International Forest Agenda/s