CFA: Rapid research in action: Lessons from the field #cfp


Call for abstracts 

Rapid research in action: Lessons from the field 


Rapid research and evaluation are now commonly used in a wide range of fields to ensure study findings are provided in a timely manner. A recent review we carried out on the use of rapid ethnographies in healthcare showed a notable increase in the use of rapid ethnographies in the last five years and their expansion beyond the social sciences (e.g. now becoming more popular in nursing and medicine) (Vindrola-Padros and Vindrola-Padros 2017). Evaluations of interventions in healthcare as well as other sectors have also relied on rapid approaches and formative research designs to ensure findings can be delivered within a timeframe most useful for informing decision-making (Vindrola-Padros et al. 2020).  


Despite widespread interest in this topic, there are limited reflections on the daily challenges of carrying out rapid research and evaluations. This book seeks to address this gap by analysing the everyday experiences of designing and implementing rapid studies in a wide range of sectors and global settings.  


We are interested in chapters that can help answer the following questions: 


  • What are the main challenges of designing and implementing rapid studies? How are these challenges shaped by time pressures, local contexts, resources of the team, etc.?  
  • Are there challenges that researchers/research teams are unable to overcome? Why? 
  • What are the common changes researchers make throughout rapid studies and why are these changes made? 
  • What are the contributions of rapid research and evaluation?  
  • What are some the lessons research teams have learned while designing and implementing rapid studies?  


We will prioritise chapters that draw from empirical studies where the research team engaged in some form of data collection (fieldwork) and those where members of the research team had different backgrounds (e.g., different disciplines, lived experiences, inter-agency coordination, etc.). 


About the editors 

Dr Cecilia Vindrola-Padros is a medical anthropologist interested in applied health research and the development of rapid approaches for research. Cecilia works as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Targeted Intervention, UCL and as a Social Scientist at the NIAA Health Services Research Centre (HSRC), Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA).  She works across five interdisciplinary teams, applying anthropological theories and methods to study and improve healthcare delivery in the UK and abroad. Cecilia has written extensively on the use of rapid qualitative research and currently Co-Directs the Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab (RREAL) with Dr Ginger Johnson. She is the past director of the Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) and a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA). 


Dr. Ginger Johnson is a medical anthropologist who has conducted research in response to emerging global public health threats in East, West, Central and Southern Africa, North and Southeast Asia, and in the Middle East and North Africa on behalf of the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Population Services International (PSI), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). She was embedded in West Africa with the IFRC during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak and has additionally been involved in conducting research on subsequent public health emergencies of international concern such as Zika in Latin America, Ebola in DRC, polio in Pakistan and the COVID-19 pandemic.Ginger currently Co-Directs RREAL with Dr Cecilia Vindrola-Padros. 


Chapter abstracts 

If you are interested in contributing a chapter for this edited volume, please send an abstract (500 words max) to Cecilia Vindrola (c.vindrola@...) and Ginger A. Johnson (johnson.ginger@...) by 1 November 2021. Please include a list of authors and affiliations.  

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