DIVYADAAN, FEBRUARY 28, 2011: Fr. Barnabe D’souza along with Ms. Dakshayini Madangopal and Ms. Snehal D’souza from Don Bosco Research and Documentation Centre, Mumbai, conducted a two day seminar on Social Research Methodology for the second year students of B.Ph. on February 25 and February 26, 2011. The seminar intended to introduce the brothers to the field of social research, its relevance in the apostolic religious life and how it can help focus or direct the activities of the individual and communities. Fr. Barnabe introduced the topic on day one, stressing on the different aspects of the term ‘research’ and how it influences our daily lives. The brothers were initiated to choose from any of the four groups, comprising of street hawkers/vendors, auto drivers, street dwellers and college youth and conduct a research on a topic that influences these groups. The brothers were given two hours in the afternoon to get on the field and interview their subjects on their own. They were guided by the resource persons on developing the right questions and implementing the right tools in collecting the data.
The research was conducted with great enthusiasm and the brothers returned to collate and evaluate the data collected, the experience of meeting and interacting with people. The data collected, though little helped to focus on social issues and also to formulate practical solutions to deal with them.
The second day involved topics on Relevance and Analyses of Social Research taken by Ms. Dakshayini. The brothers learnt how to evaluate the effectiveness of their research and also how to construct a cause-effect analysis design which will help to pinpoint the problem. The brothers also learnt to critically review the research done by their peers as well as their own. They learnt to prepare a report that provides not only quantitative data but also qualitative information of the subjects complete with the researcher’s reflections, comments and suggestions for further research. The brothers were also introduced to Ethics in Social Research. This helped to realize that the subjects of any research need to be informed and their consent acquired. Confidentiality is another key feature which needs to be respected. Finally, all researches are encouraged to be participatory.
The seminar ended with the hope that the skills learnt could be implemented by brothers in their apostolate helping them to enrich their respective experiences and also enhancing their future apostolic prospects.