Field Research Methods for Politics & Development in Africa: Education Abroad in Malawi

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In the summer of 2019, I participated on the study abroad trip, Field Research Methods for Politics & Development in Africa: Education Abroad in Malawi. The trip took place from May 27 to June 24, 2019. During the trip, myself and other participants learned how to conduct high-quality research within a developing world context. The trip focused on research methodologies used to understand political and economic outcomes in Africa, specifically in the country of Malawi. The trip engaged with the following topics: Culture, Open Questions in Politics and Development in Malawi, Types of Data and Field Research Methods, and Technical Skills for Field Research. The trip enabled us to use what we learned to design an original research project about the politics and development issues in Malawi. Along with the research project, we completed other assignments and readings as required by the Political Science 3798 course. We also engaged with the topics and methodologies of the trip through a variety of educational experiences: Lectures by prominent speakers from the University of Malawi, travels through the Zomba Plateau, experiences of local life with citizens from the Zomba area, interactions with Government offices and officials from Malawi, and visits to Malawi’s institutions of data. The aim of the experience was to encourage us to use our research proposals to find funding for proposals in order to carry out research for a potential undergraduate research thesis.


STEP Category: Education Abroad


Research, Study Abroad, Politics, Development