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Failing in the FieldWhat We Can Learn When Field Research Goes Wrong$
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Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183138

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183138.001.0001

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Partner Organization Challenges

Partner Organization Challenges

(p.40) Chapter 3 Partner Organization Challenges
Failing in the Field

Dean Karlan

Jacob Appel

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the challenges that arise from working with partner organizations. Evaluations provide evidence about effectiveness and impact, and offer operational insights that can spur improvements to products and processes. From a researcher's perspective, partnerships with practitioners offer access to the people who live and breathe the issues in question. However, along with the mutual benefits of partnerships come unique challenges, one of which is limited staff flexibility and bandwidth. Partner organization staff typically have tremendous expertise, but often experimental protocols require making changes to familiar tasks. This raises the question of staff capacity and appetite to learn new skills and routines. As such, researchers should seek out partners who genuinely want to learn about their programs and products; who are ready, willing, and able to dedicate an appropriate amount of organizational capacity to research; and who are open to the possibility that not all the answers will be positive.

Keywords:   partner organizations, evaluations, researchers, staff flexibility, staff capacity

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