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Nov19

research methods

A GUIDE TO RESEARCH METHODS: COMMON METHODS AND TYPES OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

One of the common problems students doing research face is the problem of selection of a research approach. The majority of research scholars have a quantitative bias for research and perhaps due to the tyranny of numbers many social science research guidelines are heavily biased towards quantitative research requiring hypothesis testing and cause and effect format of conceptual framework consisting of independent and dependent variables. This indeed robs some students of their research democracy. Let me leave the issue of conceptual framework for another story and focus on research methods.

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May03

BUNGOMA 4F

THE BUNGOMA 4F

Somewhere along the Kimilili – Chwele – Bungoma road in the county of Bungoma in Kenya, Professor Henry M. Bwisa, a full professor of entrepreneurship at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has a 4F experimental plot.  The 4Fs are Food, Feed,   Fuel and Fertilizer. Contract farmers produce sunflower which is manually pressed to produce less cholesterol content vegetable oil (FOOD) sold locally. Experiments to produce bar soap from the oil are underway.  Animal/fish FEED is produced from cake and sunflower heads. Runoff water is harvested for fish ponds. Fish gut and cow dung are fed into a bio digester for biogas (FUEL). Slurry from the bio digester is solar dried into organic FERTILIZER for the farmer. Charcoal briquettes (FUEL) are produced from sunflower stalks and heads. The community is learning by observation. Replication and up scaling are possible.

THE F

ELABORATION

OPERATIONALIZATION

JUSTIFICATION

FOOD

Food for human consumption

Encourage bi/tri annual profitable oil crops  and local oil processing; encourage poultry, aquaculture and zero grazing

Current cost, type and method of food production negatively affect quantities and varieties produced. There is general food insecurity amidst rich food production potential. Need arises to exploit the potential

FEED

Feed for animals, fish and poultry

Produce feed from oil cake (oil processing residue) and poultry droppings

Land subdivisions make extensive methods of agriculture unprofitable.  Need arises for intensive agripreneurial   farming including zero grazing, poultry and aquaculture

FUEL

Fuel for domestic use

Produce charcoal briquettes’ from  farm waste and biogas from dung and fish gut in bio digesters

Dependency on wood fuel encourages tree felling. Need arises for environment friendly sources of fuel including briquettes from plant/agro-  and biogas from animal/fish-waste

FERTILIZER

Fertilizer for the farms

Produce solar dried granules (organic manure)  from bio digester slurry

Inorganic fertilizers deteriorate the small farmer’s soil negatively affecting production levels and contributing to food insecurity.  Need arises for organic manure such as slurry from bio digesters

These Fs are crucial for the rural livelihoods. Their associated innovative rural technologies include but are not limited to runoff water harvesting and leak proof storage for fish ponds, inland liner-based fish ponds, bio-gas bottling, briquette kilns, solar drying for bio digester slurry, localized feed recipes

WE ARE LOOKING FOR TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO INVEST IN PERFECTING THE BIOGAS SYSTEM AND EVEN BOTTLE THE BIOGAS. OPPORTUNITY TO BREED FINGERLINGS UNDER GREENHOUSE TECHNOLOGY HAS ARISEN AND SO HAS ONE FOR MECHANICAL OIL PRESS TECHNOLOGY. WE THINK THERE COULD BE MANY MORE OPPORTUNITIES.

IF YOU LIKE IT – SUPPORT IT

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Apr23

WHAT IS A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK?

WHAT IS A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK?

May I start by thanking all those who have found my guideline on how to write a statement of the problem useful and given me very positive feedback.  Some of you, my fans, have wished that I become part of your supervisory teams in your respective universities. I do not mind that as long as your university regulations allow for it and so long as that can be formalized. I do supervise on-line most of the time. There are those of you who have given me their topics and/or research questions and requested and even begged me to write for them statements of problems. That, I will be shy to do for doing it would amount to “giving you fish” rather than “teaching you how to fish” and my professional ethics will not permit me to do that. The best thing for you to do would be to attempt writing one and requesting me to look at it and advice.

May I now respond to one of the many requests I have received from you my fans.  The request has been to shade light on differences and functions of theoretical and conceptual frameworks in a research proposal.

It would appear that many students have difficulty coming up with the theoretical and conceptual frameworks for their proposals. The two frameworks have almost always been confused with one another. Let me talk of the theoretical framework. Look elsewhere on this web for the conceptual framework.

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Jan07

CAN ECONOMISTS BE TRUSTED TO GUIDE OUR ECONOMY?

CAN ECONOMISTS BE TRUSTED TO GUIDE OUR ECONOMY?

 

A few African countries did rebase their economic statistics in or before 2014 and pronounced themselves middle income economies using the rebased figures. Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya are among these countries. I had a humourous discussion with some Kenyans at a joint.

 

On the evening of 14th October 2014 while enjoying my favourite drink at my favourite joint with favourite friends came a favourite news bulletin which communicated the favourite news that the prices of petrol would fall again from midnight that day having just fallen a few days ago. All this was courtesy of Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) headed by an engineer. The ERC was established under the Energy Act, 2006, with several objectives among them to "regulate the electrical energy, petroleum and related products, renewable energy and other forms of energy". I am alive to the fact that the word “regulation” may sound taboo to economists for it interferes with the classical economics teaching of profit maximization. Given that Profit = Total Revenue – Total Costs it is not difficult to conclude that profit maximization occurs at the biggest gap between Total revenue and total costs. The question is – who should regulate this gap. Economists have the concept of market forces for an answer. The ERC does it for the petroleum sector in Kenya. The commission sometimes raises and at other times lowers petrol prices.

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Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. Entrepreneurship is often a difficult undertaking, as a vast majority of new businesses fail.

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Author I Professor Bwisa, use my extensive research, experience and networks in small enterprise development and entrepreneurship to bring you practical informationand ideas on small business development.