The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the ICTD are pleased to announce the second edition of the Research Methods and Dissemination workshop, as a follow-up capacity building activity from the annual African Tax Research Network (ATRN) congress. This year two workshops will be offered, one in English and one in French, from the 10-12th of May in Luanda, Angola.

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The workshop aims to strengthen the capacity of researchers working in the area of taxation and development who feel their work could be improved with more rigorous and internationally accepted methods. The training aims to provide an opportunity to reflect on the researchers’ work in a critical way; rather than being a theoretical introduction to entirely new methods. This will ensure a “hands on” learning where researchers will think about their own work more rigorously and will receive practical feedback on how to improve their research. Furthermore, a dissemination and publication session is intended to provide useful advice to publish research papers as academic peer-reviewed articles and to communicate the key findings to broader policy audiences.

Date

Wednesday 10 - Friday 12 of May 2017

Places

20 people (10 Anglophone and 10 Francophone)

Fee

Fully funded for accepted applicants

Location

Luanda, Angola

Entry Requirements

Candidates must submit a research paper in progress (this can be a first draft or a detailed proposal).
Participants are encouraged to submit their final papers to the double-blind review process to be presented in September at the 2017 ATRN Annual Congress and will be required to submit them for consideration to the ATRN Working Paper Series and Policy Briefs.

Selection Criteria

  1.  Papers with relevant topics to African tax administrations/African tax policies
  2.  Gender sensitivity
  3.  Junior/mid-career researchers (PhD/Masters students)
  4.  African researchers (based in Africa)
  5.  Regional symmetry
  6.  How well the paper is generally written
  7.  Whether the main message and the research goals of the study are clear/relevant/important/innovative etc.
  8. The usage of quantitative or qualitative methods that have a good chance to be published AFTER participating in the research methods training

Target Audience

This course targets junior to mid-career researchers who are working on a paper in the area of taxation. Interested researchers will also be part of the ATRN Network and some of them would have already presented a first draft of their paper at the ATRN congress. Researchers that are currently not part of the ATRN Network are also welcome, but they must apply to the course by submitting a research paper in progress along with the application form.

Trainers

The trainers for this course are internationally recognised experts in the field of research in taxation, with a mix of a proven-track research and teaching records as well as extended practical experience in developing countries.

To apply for the workshop in English, fill in this application form by March 20th. 

Pour l'atelier en français, veuillez remplir ce formulaire avant le 20 Mars. 

COURSE CONTENT

Session 1: Quantitative Methods

The quantitative methods session will include basic tools and principles for data analysis, such as sample design, the effective use of descriptive statistics, identification, and methods to establish causality. It will focus broadly on two areas, namely, survey design and data analysis form different sources.

Survey design is an important stage in quantitative research and deficiencies in design cannot always be corrected by analysing data. The quantitative methods will start with discussions on basics of sampling design. It will cover issues of sample size, stratification, multi-stage clustering and probability proportion to size sampling. The data analysis part will focus on the discussion of the use of descriptive statistics as a tool that provides useful first insight into the data and as a tool that gives preliminary checks (preparation) for more robust analysis. The main discussion will be about establishing causation using both experimental and observational data. The discussion on causality will look at the role of experiments in establishing causality, in particular, random assignment as a tool to solve the selection problem. Random assignment is not always feasible either for ethical or practical reasons. Therefore, the session will also discuss instrumental variable estimation, regression discontinuity, difference-in-difference, and other methods.

Session 2: Qualitative Methods

This session seeks to support participants in creating and critiquing qualitative research designs and methods, with participants invited to explore the techniques, uses, strengths, and limitations of these methods. After briefly reviewing elements of concept formation and research design, the session will cover three key topics.
First, we will discuss interview and field research techniques, including techniques for semi-structured, in-depth, expert, and elite interviews, as well as focus group discussions. Attention will be given to interpreting testimonies for truth telling and evasion. Second, participant observation will be explored as a method for examining and interpreting power dynamics and group relations. Third, we will discuss methods and best practices of archival research and interpretive text and content analysis.
After reviewing these concrete skills, we will discuss philosophy of science and research ethics issues relevant to qualitative research, with a particular focus on issues that may arise in the realm of research on taxation. Attendees will receive constructive feedback on their own papers and qualitative research designs, with illustrations provided through exemplar studies that employ qualitative methods in the field of research on taxation in Africa.

Session 3: Publication and Dissemination

This session will cover three main topics. First will be publishing your research in academic journals, including presentation format, the importance of presenting a focused research question that is sufficiently answered in the paper, transparency in the methodology, and which journals are most likely to publish articles on issues of taxation. The second will be framing your research in real-world debates in order to articulate the significance of the research for policy. The third will be disseminating your research to wider public and policy audiences by using various formats, including training on writing a blog and a policy brief and engaging with the media.