Author Archives: Rebecca Tapscott

About Rebecca Tapscott

is a PhD Candidate at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Her work concerns community security initiatives in post-conflict environments, including northern Uganda. Her work has been recognized and supported by the Justice and Security Research Programme (2014-present), the Institute for Human Security (2014), the Fletcher School’s Dean’s Research Fund (2012 and 2014), and the Feinstein International Center (2010). She has been the recipient of prizes including the Morris Abrams Award (2015), Harvard’s Program on Negotiation (2014), and the Alfred P. Rubin Prize in International Law (2011).

Cleaning up the “dirty little secrets” of research ethics: Reflections from the International Studies Association 2016

This blog is a follow-up to the authors’ online symposium on the evolving ethics of qualitative research in fragile states For policymakers, fragility and conflict are one of the 21st century’s key development challenges. Fragility is by definition heterogeneous and contextual—which is why qualitative research is such a good tool to help us understand exactly why “there” is so messed up, and what we could or should do to fix it. And so, perhaps logically, we—primarily young, western, tertiary-educated men and women—are doing more and Continue reading →

From Method to Market: Some Thoughts on the Responses to Tomayto Tomahto

In this final post, Deval Desai and Rebecca Tapscott respond to comments by Lisa Denney and Pilar Domingo, Michael Woolcock, Morten Jerven, Alex de Waal, and Holly Porter. Our paper, Tomayto Tomahto, is in essence an exhortation and an ethical question. The exhortation: treat and unpack R4F (for we limit our observations to research conducted for policy-making about fragile and conflict-affected places) as an institution of global governance, a set of complex social processes and knowledge practices that produce evidence as part of policy-making. The ethical question: Continue reading →

Tomayto Tomahto: The Research Supply Chain and the Ethics of Knowledge Production

Aid in the 21st century is increasingly evidence-driven. Between 2000 and 2006, the World Bank spent a total of $630 million on research. By 2011 the World Bank was spending $606 million per year, or about a quarter of its country budgets. In September of this year, by signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals, the global community enshrined a commitment to “increase significantly” a range of high-quality data over the next 15 years, to facilitate qualitative as well as quantitative understandings of growth and Continue reading →