Thematic Discussion - Case studies are signposts for recognition and encouragement

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Case studies are Signposts for Recognition and Encouragement


Under the umbrella of the SuSanA Indian Chapter, the India Sanitation Coalition in partnership with SuSanA, held a three-week thematic discussion on “Case studies as Signposts for Recognition and Encouragement”.

The case study method of research has been criticised for its lack of rigour and the tendency for a researcher to have a biased interpretation of the data. The small sampling call into question reliability and generality. This method is sometimes dismissed as an exploratory tool. However, it remains popular particularly in studies  of  real-life  situations  governing  social  issues  and  problems.  They also widely reported in literature. Case studies continue to be the darling of the development sector to illustrate success.

Case studies are important building blocks of knowledge management and the endeavor has been to examine individual cases of good practice in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, validate the cases from various sources by collecting empirical evidence, provide a holistic in-depth investigation in to the case and draw learning lessons. The learning lessons from each case provide with interesting insights for scaling up as well as replication in other geographic locations having similar issues. The India Sanitation Coalition has also been working on assimilating case studies on sanitation. It has developed a process for seeking these from its members, screening them and adding those selected to its database. The purpose, as is evident from the foregoing, is to help others with practical examples. Hence, the discussion was opened to all the practitioners in order for them to share their ideas and experiences of understanding and documenting case studies.

The discussion ran from 20th April - 12th May 2017 with the following topics:

1) Defining the Scope of Case Study Research - What is a best practice? Led by Dr. Girija Bharat (20th - 26th April)
2) How can case studies be collected, validated and disseminated efficiently? Led by Aprajita Singh (27th April - 4th May)
3) What can we do to promote the use and replication of good sanitation lessons and practices? Led by Robin van Kippersluis (5th - 12th May)

A synthesis document about the discussion is available here.

Please visit the forum website to view the whole discussion.