The Start of a Movement for “Lean Research”?

August 07, 2014 by Alex Counts

Grameen Foundation president Alex Counts participated in a discussion on "lean research" hosted by the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the D-Lab at MIT on August 1. This post, which first appeared on his external blog, captures his closing remarks and his call to "demystify research and present it in easier to digest forms, so that those outside the academy, particularly busy practitioners and policy-makers, are more likely to understand and apply the lessons of research."  

My bottom-line framing of this entire issue is related to a basic question: why we do this kind of social science research at all?  In my mind, we do it for one reason: in combating societal problems such as poverty, we want to do more of what works well, and less of what doesn’t work, or works less well.  Period.  If research contributes to that, I will call it successful and effective.  If not does not, I will call it a failure – no matter how elegant the research design or how smart the investigators.  This is my take on the design principle of “relevance” which we have been discussing today.

Click here to read the full post.