Tools that support the integration of research into NGO programming.


Step 1: How to set up operational research in a NGO?

For example a checklist of required elements for building operational research in a NGO (e.g. competent staff (e.g. research officer(s) and field staff); research included in the annual planning exercise and budget etc); as well as an example of a NGO research policy (definition of operational research, the purpose and procedures).

Step 2: How and where to learn about operational research?

Capacity building: Different courses and handbooks are available as for example from The Union / MSF offering a very hands-on course supported by DFID.

Step 3-5: How to conduct operational research?

Guidelines and formats supporting the research implementation:

  • Research Protocol: Format and required elements
  • Ethical Guidelines
  • Guidelines for implementing different research methodologies (e.g. qualitative and quantitative research

Top Tips

Required elements for building an operational research unit within your NGO (Zachariah et al 2010: 4):

Example of a research policy (MSF 2010):

Capacity Building: Operational Research (The Union / MSF):

Collecting Data (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative):

Population Survey Data are available worldwide - learn how to use it to answer your research questions