detail - Afghanistan Office
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The lack of the culture and practice of research as well as the absence of trained and professional researchers is a major obstacle to the conducting of scientific research in Afghanistan. The National Center for Policy Research wishes to address this problem within Kabul University by conducting intensive short term courses in research methodology on an annual basis. To this end it set up the German Afghan Research Forum (GARF) through which it aims to run regular courses in research methodology.
The Forum is envisaged as having 4 main objectives:
•To strengthen the links between the Centre and the corresponding Faculties at Kabul University (KU);
•To promote the culture of research at these faculties;
•To train both faculty and top students in research methodology on an intensive and ongoing basis;
•To create a pool of researchers from which the Centre would draw for carrying out its own research projects, and offer researchers to other institutions in Kabul.
The Center is thus planning to run a ten week course in research methodology, planned by the National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), for 72 trainees in two categories of Lecturers/Staff & Students. The Center ran a similar 8 week training course in 2006 for 60 members of Kabul University’s lecturers and students with great success.
The program will take 10 lecture weeks and start on 29th of April 2007 and end on 4th of July 2007. Thus there will be 40 teaching days in total; 4 sessions a week. The teaching will be carried out by six members from different faculties of Kabul University and Dr. Babak Khalatbari, the country representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Afghanistan.
In order to achieve the above objectives, a ten week course in research methodology is planned and devised for 72 members (Lecturers/Staff & Students) of the six Faculties at Kabul University: Law & Political Science, Economics, Social Science, Sharia, Journalism and Psychology and Educational Sciences, as well as the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan, Ministry of Justice, and Albiriony University of Parwan Province. The trainees include two categories in total. The first category (Lecturers/Staff) will consist of 36 persons from different faculties and organizations considered suitable by the appointed Coordinators, Faculties’ Deans, and heads of organizations. Suitability will be based on educational background and research experience. The other category of trainees consists of 36 students from the six humanities Faculties of Kabul University. They will be chosen from the top students of each Faculty.
In order to facilitate the selection process for the 66 candidates, there will be 3 Project Coordinators to put into effect the following duties:
•To arrange for the selection of lecturers and students from respective Faculties and staff from organizations;
•To ensure adherence to the conditions attached to attendance of GARF II;
•To ensure completion of practical projects at the end of GARF II.
Seven trainers will be employed to teach the different sections of the course. These include six members from different Faculties of Kabul University with post-graduate degrees obtained from universities outside Afghanistan. They will also be joined by Dr Babak Khalatbari, the country representative of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Afghanistan. The complete list of the trainers is as follows:
•Dr. Babak Khalatbari, country representative;
•Prof. Zedran (Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kabul University);
•Prof. Halimi (Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Kabul University);
•Prof. Alawi (Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kabul University);
•Prof. Sayar (Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Kabul University);
•Prof. Mowahed (Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Kabul University).
The course will begin by addressing some fundamental questions such as the importance of scientific research, in particular in the humanities; ethics of research; the role of research in policy making; and the role of institutions and centers such as the NCPR in this process. This is considered necessary as this tripartite relationship is relatively new in Afghanistan, and it is felt that such an introduction would provide information on the NCPR on the one hand, and set the correct context for the course on the other hand.
The course will then deal with the different stages of conducting research in a systematic manner, beginning with the different ways in which research ideas come into being and hypotheses are tested, followed by the different means of collating information – in the field and the library, qualitative and quantitative analysis of data, through to the presentation of findings in different formats (see attached Topics List).
At the end of GARF II program trainees will be divided into groups of 2/3 and asked to conduct a short research. For this purpose they will be asked to submit two topics to the Centre from which one will be selected by the Department Heads and GARF II Coordinators as the topic for empirical research. Trainees will be given a period of 30 days to complete their researches and submit to the Center. During this time the Centre Heads of Departments will be available for further assistance and guidance.