TOPIC: The impact of public participation on effective policy formulation in Kenya
MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING SUBHEADINGS
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND/CONTEXTUALIZATION OF THE STUDY)
Chapter title should read as shown above. It can also be enhanced to read as follows: “INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY”…]. The title should be centred in the page and placed immediately below the chapter number. 1.0 Introduction (Every chapter must begin with “Introduction”) Introduction should highlight key contents of the chapter. Provide concise and sequential details of specific content areas. E.g. this chapter entails XYZ, ABC, theoretical framework based on… etc. 1.1 Background to the Study This section must contextualise the research issue and culminate into the research problem statement). It must also: ·Create reader interest in the topic by providing a basis for your research issue and problem. ·Lay the broad foundation for the problem beginning from global perspective narrowing down to regional context then to the country and actual location of the study e.g. in a precise place in Kenya, · Frame the study within the larger context of the scholarly literature, underscoring key issues linked to your study issue while reaching for your specific audience. ·Highlight the specific knowledge gaps justify your study problem and which must lead logically to the statement of the problem in an ensuing sub-section. 1.2 Statement of the problem ·A problem statement points out the precise gap that exist in the literature, theory, or practice which the particular research will address (other gaps would be pointed out in the literature review chapter). 12 ·The statement of the problem must entail a logical argument generated from preceding facts as articulated in the background section ·Always avoid in-text referencing characterized by cut-and-paste from background section · It should be concise and not exceed 300 words.
1.2.1 Purpose (General objective) ·The purpose statement should provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall goal of the study 1.2.2 Objectives · Should be directly linked to the study variables as indicated in the title ·They should be SMART- Specific/Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic, Time bound · Should be outcome based verbs such “Identify, define, relate, describe, review, justify, indicate etc.” and unless for clearly stated purpose try based on specific types of qualitative studies, it is important to avoid process-based outcomes such as “understand”, “explore”, “investigate”, “examine” ·Exploratory studies may use process based verbs because they are mainly qualitative in nature. 1.2.3 Research questions and or Research Hypotheses Questions It is important in a proposal that the problem stands out immediately after the background so that the reader can easily recognize it without having to meander around unnecessary reading in the sub-section. Avoid the trap of obscure and poorly formulated problems that are masked in extended unfocussed discussions crowded with references and citations. 13 They should stem from objectives (creatively and not necessarily in a cut-and-paste fashion) They should not be stated in a leading form that elicits yes/no response (e.g. …questions that start with “is there normally…” would often elicit a yes/no response). Hypothesis (dictated by nature of the study as explained below) Hypotheses are usually presented as directional declarations of relationships between variables ·While a research question poses a relationship between two or more variables but phrases the relationship as a question; a hypothesis represents a declarative statement of the relations between two or more variables (Kerlinger, 1979; Krathwohl, 1988). E.g. compare “how does labelling of students influence academic performance?” with e.g. “there is no relationship between positive reinforcement and academic performance” ·Deciding whether to use questions or hypotheses depends on factors such as the purpose of the study, the nature of the design and methodology, and the audience of the research (at times even the taste and preference of committee members, particularly the Chair). 1.3 Significance of the study (Rationale) ·Mention the beneficiaries and how they may benefit from the findings of the study. 1.4 Limitation and Delimitation (these should be explained separately to avoid confusion) · Limitation– this requires identification of potential weaknesses of the study that may be beyond the capability of the researcher to intervene e.g., the nature of self-report, your instruments, and the sample size. The researcher needs to think about threats to internal validity that may have been impossible to avoid or minimize. Hence, it is imperative to explain how you as the researcher intend to overcome such limitations as much as possible. 14 ·Delimitation– this requires you to address how a study will be narrowed in scope. Explain the things that you are not doing and why you have chosen not to do them. E.g. the literature you will not review (and why not); the population you are not studying (and why not); the methodological procedures you will not use (and why you will not use them) etc. Explain what the possible implications of the delimitations will be for your study 1.5 Assumptions ·Here you state the things you are taking for granted about the nature of the behaviour you are investigating, about the conditions under which the behaviour occurs and about your methods and measurements etc. Stating that you assume participants will cooperate is not adequate. ·Assumptions are not testable but are statements about observations, hunches and experiences related to the study that is taken for granted or are assumed to be true. ·They are statements that help to remove/reduce doubts on the validity of the study and are accepted in faith, or taken to be true without proof. ·They foreground the question as to what are you taking for granted in the conduct of your study and why. 1.6 Theoretical and Conceptual framework (All students of Education must demonstrate this section) Theoretical framework This is a structure derived from existing relevant theorization of key aspects of your study. Often existing theory/theories provide foundation for the theoretical framework within which to position your research. Hence, it is important to do the following: (i) mention the proponents of the theory or theories to be used (ii) cite the main points emphasized in the theory/theories 15 (iii) Support your exposition of the theory/theories by ideas from other experts and your own interpretation; (iv)Demonstrate the link of theoretical proposition and the proposed study. Conceptual framework This is the researcher’s own perception of the problem and how variables operate in influencing each other. The researcher is expected to provide a graphic presentation that is self-explanatory showing how various variables interact and the direction of the outcomes from such interactions. It ought to be characterized by: (i) original visualization by the researcher or adaptation of an existing model used in a previous study (ii) direction of interactions of variables of study (iii)a diagrammatic format (graphic presentation) (iv) Brief explanation of the conceptual framework for clarification of the flow. 1.7Operational Definition of terms Only provide definitions of key terms used in the study that are not used in conventional manner.
CHAPTER TWO (should stand alone centred) REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE (centred)
2.1Introduction (provide structure of this chapter in line with objectives in Chapter One) (i) Use relevant headings developed from the research objectives to guide the structure of this chapter – (creatively -not direct copy-and-paste). (ii) Highlight the knowledge you find already existing in relation to the study problem. (iii)Bring out what is still not known about this study problem, i.e. the knowledge gaps. (iv)Demonstrate evidence of your understanding of current research on the subject under investigation through relevant and logical discussion 16 (v)Be systematic and synthetic in style using logical links in the flow of arguments (vi)Show clearly which gaps in knowledge with regard to and not excluding methodology, theory, scope and how these link to your proposed study (vii)Provide the chapter summary in approximately a page to capture the following: o key knowledge issues, o controversies in literature, o main research gaps and o the actual gap(s) that your research will address
CHAPTER THREE (centre and stand-alone) RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
This is a chapter in which the researcher justifies every choice/action made in implementing the proposed study. It must highlight methodological details appropriate to the study in an explicitly convincing manner, making scholarly references of research authorities as much as possible. 3.1 Introduction: provide structure of the chapter 3.2 Research design (i) State the designs adopted and provide reasons for your choice. (ii) Link the design to the study topic 3.2.1 Variables (i) Explain the Independent and Dependent variables. (ii) Indicate the scope (coverage) of the study 3.1.2Research methodology and specific data collection methods (i) Indicate the overall methodology (e.g. quasi experimental, qualitative, historical etc.) (ii) Specify the actual data collection methods for the methodology chosen 3.2 Location of the study 17 (i) state the location of the study and actual sites where research will be conducted, (ii) justify the choice of that location, and (iii)Discuss the characteristics unique to the site that are relevant to the study problem. 3.3 Target population (i) describe the population from where your research sample will be selected (ii) Justify the choice of the target population and give figures where appropriate. 3.4 Sampling techniques and sample size 3.4.1 Sampling Techniques Explain the method of deriving a sample category from the population you identified…e.g. random sampling, purposive, convenient, snowballing…. 3. 4.2 Sample Size Give the proportion of the sample in relation to the accessible population .e.g. how many students (girls and boys) from each selected class; how many teachers (heads of departments, class teachers etc.) · Present the sample size in a table format 3.5 Research Instruments (i) Describe each instrument that will be used in the study. (ii) Ensure that instruments linked to objectives and questions to ensure that data is generated for each objective to be achieved and to guide your findings chapter. 3.6 Pre-testing/Piloting Study Describe how the research instruments will be tested for their worth using pilot sites deliberately selected for the purpose and in view of addressing the following aspects of the study: 3.6.1 Validity 18 Explain how validity of the instruments will be established. 3.6.2 Reliability Explain how reliability of the instruments will be established. NB: If using standardized test, quote test and existing reliability levels and demonstrate how these will be attained practically in the research process. 3. 7 Data Collection Techniques Explain how field data collection will be done using the specific method/tools/instruments that have been chosen for this activity 3.8 Data Analysis (i) Explain the methods that will be applied in analysing the data based on each objective stated (e.g. Atlas ti, NUDI*ST; Chi Square, t-tests, other correlational tests etc.). (ii) Clarify the methods of analysis of each research question/ hypothesis e.g. State your null hypothesis and indicate statistics used to analyse the hypothesis. (iii)For non-numerical data indicate the method of thematizing, coding, and indicate questions software used (iv) Explain how data will be presented after analysis is complete (e.g., in text, tabular, graphic etc.) 3.9 Logistical and Ethical Considerations Logistical considerations Explain how you will manage logistical requirements of the research (e.g. various levels of authorisations that include the various procedures of ensuring successfully access into the field) Ethical considerations (i) Demonstrate your understanding of research ethics and show how you will observe ethical issues related to researching human subjects (e.g. confidentiality, anonymity, soliciting informed consents among others that capture the 19 considerations you will use to protect human rights of the research subjects/participants and ensuring they suffer no harm from the research process and outputs/outcomes)