Part I, Proposal Development and Fieldwork, contains modules 1-20, of which the first 18 will lead the course participants through all steps that the development of their proposal requires. Modules 19 and 20 guide them through the fieldwork period and preliminary data analysis.

Each module contains detailed instructions for group work on the successive steps in the development of the proposal. At the end of each module, facilitators will find Trainers Notes, providing guidelines on how to present the modules and how to assist the groups in the writing of theirresearch proposal.

The most important guideline for the application of these HSR modules is BEING FLEXIBLE. The only general rule is that participants and facilitators should be conscious of the cyclical nature of the process of developing a research proposal. In many group work sessions, participants will therefore be referred back to earlier parts of the proposal they developed to make adjustments, it required. In Module 18 they are advised to review once again all sections of their proposal when writing the summary.

The managers of a course can adapt the time devoted to presentations and group work, as well as the sequence of modules, to the needs of their target groups. It is, for example, quite possible to combine Modules 4 (Statement of the problem) and 5 (Literature review). Also Modules 8 (Variables), 9 (Study type) and 10 (Data collection tools) are closely connected, and the group work for Modules 9 and 10 has already been combined. These modules form the core of any research proposal. Enough time will have to allotted to the group work for these modules and to field-testing of the data collection tools, as the quality of the tools will determine the quality of the findings.

For groups of participants that include health managers who already have extensive administrative experience it may be feasible to present modules 15 (Work plan), 16 (Budget) and 17 (Plan for project administration, monitoring and utilisation of results) as one block, entitled Management of a Research Project.

Click here to read the full text document

Publisher: WHO/IRDC, 2003