Universität Wien
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290122 PS Participatory research methods in development research (2018S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 29 - Geographie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Students who will not show in the first session will be deregistered.

Tuesday 17.04. 08:00 - 11:00 Hörsaal 4C Geographie NIG 4.OG C0409
Tuesday 15.05. 08:00 - 11:00 Hörsaal 4C Geographie NIG 4.OG C0409
Tuesday 29.05. 08:00 - 11:00 Hörsaal 4C Geographie NIG 4.OG C0409
Tuesday 12.06. 08:00 - 11:00 Hörsaal 4C Geographie NIG 4.OG C0409
Tuesday 26.06. 08:00 - 11:00 Hörsaal 4C Geographie NIG 4.OG C0409


Aims, contents and method of the course

In September, 2015, the United Nations adopted the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that went into effect on 1 January, 2016. By doing so, the global community set 17 highly ambitious goals aiming at the improvement of life conditions for all people worldwide until 2030, including the complete eradication of hunger and poverty.

As for all fields, this constitutes a major challenge for development research that aims at contributing to the improvement of living conditions of people in the developing countries through the production of knowledge on living conditions.

By now, one of the major paradigms of development research is the actor’s perspective that considers researched populations as experts of their living conditions and, thus, places them at the center of the research interest and actively involves them in the research process.

Since the 1990ies, the so-called Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) has evolved as one of the most efficient approaches for development researcher and practitioners to collect data as well as plan development projects. PRA is a methodology that employs various kinds of participatory methods to collectively collect data and plan processes with rural populations and decision makers to understand local living conditions, identify potentials for change and conceptualize as well as implement processes to utilize them.

The aim of the seminar is to acquaint students with essential PRA methods to apply them in roles plays. Based on these experiences, the students will evaluate the methods regarding their potentials as well as limitations.

The working methods utilized in the seminar will include joint analyses and discussions of relevant texts and documents, own research of sources and materials, the practice of research methods in role plays, and the writing of a term paper. Participatory teaching methods will feature prominently in the course.

Assessment and permitted materials

The following requirements must be fulfilled to pass the course:

• regular attendance and active participation (presence in at least 80% of the sessions
• own research work
• writing of a bi-weekly study portfolio based on the compulsory readings (1 page), to be submitted on Moodle on the eve of each session
• writing of a term paper (10 pages, to be submitted by 31 August 2018)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Attendance in at least 80% of the session. Sick absence with a medical sickness certificate of more than 25% of the sessions can be compensated with additional assignments.

Study portfolio and term paper will be marked individually, each representing 50% of the final mark. Both assignments have to be passed individually. An assignment is passed with a minimum grade of 4.

For a successful completion of the course, all study portfolio entries have to be submitted latest on the eve before the final session.

Grading scheme:

100 – 86 % - grade 1
85 – 71 % - grade 2
70 – 56 % - grade 3
55 – 41 % - grade 4
40 – 0 % - grade 5

An additional grading scheme for term papers can be downloaded in the Moodle course and will be explained in the first session.

Examination topics

The examination will encompass our joint analyses and discussions of relevant texts and documents, own research of sources and materials and a term paper.

Reading list

All texts for compulsory readings can be downloaded in the Moodle course.

Association in the course directory

(MG-S4-PI.m) (MG-S6-PI.m) (MG-W3-PI) (MA UF GW 02)

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:42