Tag Archives: Research

Stem Cell Research: Definition, Types, and Potential Uses

Stem Cell Research

There have been many advances in the medical and scientific worlds that have advanced human knowledge in various areas. The discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming back in 1928 gave the world its first true antibiotic. DNA profiling has changed the way that forensic science is used in criminal investigation, and the introduction of vaccines has saved countless lives.

Vaccines, of course, are in the news constantly now with the various versions being administered to millions to try to halt the spread of Covid and end the pandemic. There is one other incredible advance that is changing the medical world, and that is the use of stem cells.

It has been 10 years since Ernest McCullock passed away but his legacy lives on. It was McCulloch and James Till who first recognized and separated a stem cell. This discovery improved some medical procedures such as bone marrow transplants immediately. The possibilities for stem cell use in the medical world are still being investigated, as they may be so far-reaching.

What are stem cells?

The definition of cell differentiation is described as the process where a young cell forms its own characteristics and features and matures into a cell with a specialized purpose. The cells in the human body are mostly made up of differentiated cells. They have matured and have their purpose in the body and will serve one specific area.

For example, Mesothelial cells’ purpose is to provide a lining to the body’s organs and serous cavities. Keratinocytes are the main cells in the skin and protect against UV radiation, water loss, and viral or fungal infections. Stem cells are different from these differentiated cells.

Stem cells can be classed as being blank or undifferentiated. They are distinct from differentiated cells, which have only one specific purpose in the body, as blank stem cells can mature and carry out many functions and roles.

Stem cells can divide and multiply indefinitely and they will either produce more stem cells or become a differentiated cell such as Keratinocyte.

Are there different types of stem cells?

Medicines can cure disease but only doctors can cure patients, or so the saying goes. Stem cells can help cure many medical problems, but only certain stem cells can cure certain problems. There are a number of different stem cells and they each have different uses:

  • Totipotent or Omnipotent Stem Cells
  • Pluripotent
  • Multipotent
  • Oligopotent
  • Unipotent

The most powerful of all of these is the totipotent, or omnipotent stem cell. A totipotent cell is the most powerful as it can bring about life. Ie it can form a fully functioning living creature. A human fertilized egg is an example of a totipotent cell. Everyone starts out as just one cell, a zygote, and this then divides into two cells, which divide again, and again. After some time, the cells will begin to differentiate and take on their specific purposes.

Pluripotent stem cells are harvested from 3 to 5-day old embryos. Although the embryo is fertilized in a lab and not the human body, it is these stem cells that have caused some of the controversy surrounding the research.

What uses do stem cells have?

There have been many breakthroughs in stem cell research including recently, progress with enteric nervous system disorders. They can be used in many ways as stem cells can develop into whatever cell is needed.

Stem cells could be used for the following purposes:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Brain disease
  • Blood diseases
  • Cell deficiency therapy

Tissue regeneration is possible with the use of induced pluripotent cells and some other types, and this could lead to huge advances in skin treatments. The biggest organ of a human is the skin and it helps to protect and to create a barrier for the body.

Sometimes wounds cannot heal effectively perhaps due to a severe accident, cancer, or burns. Stem cells could help to regenerate healthy tissue and improve the condition of patients with any number of skin conditions.

Platforms such as Celixir are working with stem cell therapy and hoping to make the next big breakthrough. This may include cell deficiency therapy where it is hoped that soon, laboratories will be able to grow heart cells to fix the damage in patients with heart disease. The same theory could also work for other organs such as the pancreas for diabetes patients.


Stem cell therapy has no ethical concerns as far as adult cells go but there may be issues elsewhere. For some people, science is a blessing, and to others it is trouble and there is some controversy when it comes to embryonic stem cell research.

However, it could be argued very strongly for the use of stem cell research and therapy after the potential uses are weighed up. Stem cells could potentially be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and spinal cord damage. With stem cell research platforms driving ahead there could be another major breakthrough in the science and medical world soon.


I Know I am late a moment ago I came to know about that 2nd July was UFO day, I am really very flatter to know about this day in my school days I was very much curious about the galaxy , the unknown mysterious world, other planets , aliens then with the time  I am distracted from my this world, but always when I get time I tried to gather information .so 1st I am telling you the reason behind the day

World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day is celebrated by some on June 24, and others on July 2. June 24 is the date that aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is generally considered to be the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States,[ while July 2 commemorates the supposed UFO crash in the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident.

Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947, announcing the “capture” of a “flying saucer” source WIKIPEDIA

What is other side of the sky? Once This question always going round in my mind, other planets, solar system , milky way, black eye galaxy this things are fascinated millions , years after year scientist research and now the craze to know the unknown world , creature from other planet is really noticeable. Series, documentaries, movies based on aliens, other world.  But you know In Chhattisgarh ancient rock painting depicting UFO exist suggesting Alien communication with humans since prehistoric times, Archaeologists JR Bhagat, who discover them , said they depict strange humanoids with no facial features and other painting of flying discs.

CHARAMA (Chhattisgarh): Chhattisgarh state department of sarchaeology department has sought help from NASA and ISRO experts.

The finding suggest that humans in prehistoric times may have seen or imagined beings from other planets which still create curiosity among people and researchers.


What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette.

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. So sooner or later, we are going to come up with a permanent solution for this virus too.

Vaccine developments

With confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpassing 9 million and continuing to grow, scientists are pushing forward with efforts to develop vaccines and treatments to slow the pandemic and lessen the disease’s damage. Some of the earliest treatments will likely be drugs that are already approved for other conditions, or have been tested on other viruses.

As of May 8, two medications had received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): the antiviral remdesivir and a drug used to sedate people on a ventilator.

The FDA issued a EUA in March for the antimalaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, but later revoked it after studies showed that they’re unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19.

EUA allows doctors to use these drugs to treat people with COVID-19 even before the medications have gone through the formal FDA approval process. These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see whether they’re effective against COVID-19. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

It could be months before treatments are available that are known to work against COVID-19. It could be even longer for a vaccine. But there are still other tools we can use to reduce the damage done by the new coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2.


Remdesivir: Developed a decade ago, this drug failed in clinical trials against Ebola in 2014. But it was found to be generally safe in people. Research with MERS, a disease caused by a different coronavirus, showed that the drug blocked the virus from replicating. The drug is being tested in many COVID-19 clinical trials around the world. This includes studies in which remdesivir is being administered alongside other drugs, such as the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib. The drug is also being tested in children with moderate to severe COVID-19. In late April, the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, announced one of its trials had been “terminated” due to low enrollment. Gilead officials said the results of that trial had been “inconclusive” when it was ended.

A few days later, the company announced that preliminary data from another trial of remdesivir overseen by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) had “met its primary endpoint.” Gary Schwitzer, founder of HealthNewsReview.org, though, said the researchers changed the primary endpoint 2 weeks before Fauci’s announcement. Schwitzer compared that to moving football goalposts closer to make it easier to get a touchdown. At the same time, another study published in The Lancet reported that participants in a clinical trial who took remdesivir showed no benefits compared to people who took a placebo.

Despite the conflicting results, the FDA issued an order on May 1 for the emergency use of remdesivir. In early June, federal officials announced their supply of remdesivir will run out by the end of June. Gilead is ramping up production, but it’s unclear how much of the drug will be available this summer.

Arbidol: This antiviral was tested along with the drug lopinavir/ritonavir as a treatment for COVID-19. Researchers reported in mid-April that the two drugs didn’t improve the clinical outcomes for people hospitalized with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

EIDD-2801: This drug was created by scientists at a nonprofit biotech company owned by Emory University. Research in mice has shown that it can reduce replication of multiple coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

Pharmaceutical company Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP signed an agreement in May to develop this drug. It’s already being tested in a clinical trial in the United Kingdom. Unlike remdesivir, EIDD-2801 can be taken orally, which would make it available to a larger number of people.

Favipiravir: This drug is approved in some countries outside the United States to treat influenza. Some reports from China suggest it may work as a treatment for COVID-19. These results, though, haven’t been published yet. Japan, where the medication is made, is sending the drug to 43 countries for clinical trial testing in people with mild or moderate COVID-19. Canadian researchers are testing to see whether the drug can help fight outbreaks in long-term care homes.

Kaletra: This is a combination of two drugs — lopinavir and ritonavir — that work against HIV. Clinical trials are being done to see whether it also works against SARS-CoV-2. One small study published May 4 in the journal Med by Cell Press found that lopinavir/ritonavir didn’t improve outcomes in people with mild or moderate COVID-19 compared to those receiving standard care.

Another study, published May 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the drug combination wasn’t effective for people with severe COVID-19. But another study found that people who were given lopinavir/ritonavir along with two other drugs — ribavirin and interferon beta-1b — took less time to clear the virus from their body. This study was published May 8 in The Lancet.

Merimepodib (VX-497): This drug developed by ViralClear Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been shown previously to have antiviral and immune-suppressing effects. It was tested against hepatitis C but had only modest effects.

The company is running a phase II trial of this drug. People with advanced COVID-19 will be randomized to receive either merimepodib with remdesivir, or remdesivir plus a placebo. The company hopes to have results by late summer of this year.

The creation of the swiftest fifth-matter

We know the usual three-phase or the state of matter exist around us, namely solid, liquid, and gas. What exactly is it? We can define it as something which exists in this universe, which has some weight of its own and consists of several atoms. When we move to the molecular level, we can see that they bind to each other; hence they’re the building blocks for every material. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Solids in which the particles are close to each other with almost no movement. This structure is visible through a powerful microscope. You know that a solid with its shape doesn’t change unless we apply some external force. Due to its high density, it attains stability. The liquid, which we commonly drink like water have slightly less force of attraction, so it can change its shape when we alter it. Gas is all around us. The atmosphere itself consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and other major constituents.

Ripples in the water

Let me introduce to the two unfamiliar matters we rarely know. Plasma found in televisions, and I guess you may already make this guess earlier. This matter is also present in neon signboards, computer chips, and even the inner lining of your favorite chips packet, the shiny metallic layer. Most importantly, it is the most natural state ever found in the entire universe; after all, the stars are also plasma at very high temperatures.

So, now moving on to the fifth matter, the BEC. Originated back in 1924, one of the great scientists, Albert Einstein, along with the Indian physicists, Satyendra Nath Bose in his papers, described the condensate and named after them. This matter was created in 1995 at the University of Colorado using lasers and magnets. They cooled a sample of a metal known as Rubidium, atomic number 35 to almost zero degrees at an instant. Due to the sudden change of temperature, the atoms internally couldn’t move much. Later the kinetic energy lost, and a giant molecule got created.

A shiny beam of light.

In the year 2020, the researchers were able to recreate it with less than a blink of an eye, which is still very slow and maybe much less than you could ever imagine. It just got created in 100 femtoseconds, i.e., only in 10-13 seconds. Even the advanced cameras couldn’t work so fast. The researchers of Finland described the process where they pumped in energy in 50 femtoseconds was visible, but with 300 femtoseconds, it wasn’t noticeable. The condensate generates a very sharp striking band of light, very bright, which may have more uses in the future. Now with further advancement, the matter was even created in the space on the largest space station, ISS, where there is zero-gravity. The research in areas got carried out using Cold Atom Lab, a 70-million-dollar lab with only 0.4 cubic meter space with all necessary items to create the BEC. The lab process of creation was also patented, and they are eager to work more in the field.

A new Journey to the center of the earth

This post is not about the movie, but this is about reality. Whenever you stand on the ground, have you ever wondered what beneath the mud, stones, and soil. Groundwater, fossils? That’s true, but as deep as you go, there’s a lot more to discover until the inner core, which is 6, 371 kilometres equivalent distance from Bali to Amsterdam. But what exactly is present at the center-most point of the Earth.

A globe model in the hand.

We know almost 71% of the Earth is water. The deepest hole on the land is the Kola Super-deep Borehole, which is about 12.2 km deep, which is 0.019 percent till the center of the Earth. At the same time, the scientist of the Soviet Union had a target of 15 km, but the temperature was too high and more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the core is estimated at up to 10800 Fahrenheit, even if Tungsten was in place for drilling, which has a melting point at 6177 Fahrenheit; still, it will be impossible to reach the core. But even the deepest hole is merely having a diameter on 9 inches.

A comparison to the tallest to the deepest point ever discovered. Courtesy: Pinterest

So, how do researchers predict the information they gather information about the Earth? Recently at the University of Maryland, the researchers used seismic waves to get the inside view of the Earth. But it has a drawback due to weak echo from the unwanted noise as a part of data collection. So, to overcome this, a team of space and earth scientists by analyzing thousands of seismographs from the past 30 years using an algorithm known as Sequencer. After replicating like how bats and dolphins use echolocation, which will help to create new theories to understand more about plate tectonics working in the development of the planet in the early ages of the planet Earth.

The new inner earth map after the research.

The geophysicists are progressively engaged underneath the Pacific Ocean bowl for the particular waveforms of seismic wave echoes traveling. The data gathered is backed the advancement in the computer sector, using Machine Learning, they were able to map the data collected. At the point when the earthquakes create seismic waves pulse, the waves move slow and disperse because of dissimilarities in rock thickness, temperature, and so on. After the movement, time took, and the power of the bouncing back signs as they strike seismometers in various zones set, researchers can make different models about the physical properties of rock under the surface.

The actual method for data collection. Courtesy: University of Michigan

But what is our benefit in the research? We will know more about our planet, but most importantly, we can discover minerals after knowing more about the composition more precisely. Mponeng gold mine in South Africa is the deepest gold mine at almost 4 km; the temperature down reaches up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, geothermal energy will generate by heating the water to produce steams, saving fossil fuels. Also, there can be new researches if the life of bacteria or microbes can exist at such high temperatures. We can also discover ancient fossil remains if it exists, and many more mysteries are yet to be solved.

Medical Breakthrough: Can it save life of a Corona-virus patient?

There was a time when everything was going well. Suddenly a pandemic arises all of a sudden. However, the reason for the origin is not apparent yet, and several kinds of research are going on to prepare vaccines to save the lives of people who want to live peacefully. This virus attacks the respiratory system weakening it day by day. However, some may not know, it is treated by keeping the person under 14 days observatory and building up the immune system stronger. But this isn’t an effective solution to cure the problem. It may return or may contaminate others unwittingly. Some people even don’t know if they have it after through an unknown contact with an infected person, this case is asymptomatic, and it can be very harmful.

A woman with mask
Face masks are prevalent these days, and it is a must to wear to protect yourself.

All institutions, offices, public places were closed, people protested, some even panicked, instead of death due to this virus, it can be worse when someone passes away being tensed about it and being in depression. Positive things are happening around the globe like you may have heard about like blood plasma transfusion, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir in the news. These were some of the methods or medicines that tried to cure the patients and treat them effectively. Now new research says that dexamethasone can be the life-saving drug, being one of the costs capable, was tested in England by giving them 28 days reducing the death rate up to 35 percent, and 20 percent for people requiring oxygen while difficulty in breathing.

A lab.
A laboratory is in search of new medicine.

Dexamethasone is giving as a steroid to reduce inflammation due to several reasons like allergies, asthma, etc. But WHO strictly advises not to use steroids to treat patients while they’re ill as it can slow the time until the virus clears up. Now they’re almost 100 thousand cases reported every day over the past two weeks across the globe. The researches claimed that it could prevent one death among every eight patients if they’re on a ventilator. This finding got observed by a study leader named Peter Horby at the University of Oxford. The earlier attempts like the HIV combo drug lopinavir-ritonavir were commonly given antibiotics for a viral cold, cough: azithromycin was a part of the study. Also, the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab were all tested as a cure to treat the patients as a part of the research for more than 11 thousand patients in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

A woman with hope.
A lady is looking out with hope for the situations to come in control.

People should strictly follow as there is no proper cure for the problem. The lockdown is for everyone’s betterment. If you have any symptoms like cold, cough for an extended period, frequent occurring fever, difficulty in breathing, one must quickly approach a doctor. The health conditions of a hospital are worsening day by day. The patients are increasing, but the resources are restricted. There is no proper funding for these problems; people don’t cooperate in this period and become a potential risk for others. They’re cases where the hospital authorities, nurses, attendants, and doctors get attacked; they’re saving your lives, researchers are working day and night to help to restore humanity. The business sector is in the state of falling and collapsing. We need to follow guidelines made, or else it will be challenging to control the problem.



Patrick Nalere*[1]; Milton Yago, PhD


This paper provides a review of empirical & theoretical methodologies used in recent partnership studies as collected from several different authors on partnerships.  The paper describes in detail how each of the methods can be used in practice, when their usage is most appropriate, and identifies how to improve their application in partnerships research. The major findings include: most mixed – methods were entrenched in quantitative methodology such as semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, and document reviews; judges were employed frequently to assess partnership processes and correlational techniques were utilized most widely to analyze quantitative data; case study was the most frequently used qualitative methodology. Challenges commonly faced in quantitative research in partnerships studies include designing specification of the unit of analysis, sampling instrument design and administration, particularly in data analysis, which are addressed by employing a mixed – methods embedded in quantitative methodology. Implications of these findings are further discussed and future research directions are suggested.

Key Words: Partnership, Rural Development, Research,

  1. Introduction

Previous studies that have examined different partnership subjects have used a variety of research methodologies and methods. This review provides a profound insight to research methodologies that are employed to partnership subjects. In order to expand the sources under review, conference presentations, cited articles, unpublished papers, relevant policy documents and survey reports were also reviewed. Although the review doesn’t encompass materials from discipline outside of partnerships field, the majority of the cited focus on collaborative work to achieve development. This review analyses literature on partnership aspects in general, with a view of increasing the understanding of particular relationship issues. Therefore, there are a few issues worth noting. First, this review focused on either the synthesis of the literature or academic paper abstracts. In the first instance, the review relying on literature was not well supported by empirical data.  Secondly, although academic studies were good sources of empirical data, they were not representative of all types of publications in the partnership field. However,, his classification of the research methodologies appeared to be grounded in a mixture of research methodologies and substantives contents, hence resulting in some inconsistency Questions such as what specific methodologies and methods are distributed in partnership studies were not addressed. Thirdly, a mixed- methods research was not addressed in Knight, (1998) study. Instead Knight, used only qualitative methodologies while studying on the “Perspectives on Partnerships: Social Partnerships approached from the relational perspective” as an “inter-subjective world of culture, consciousness and purposive action, where relationships are organized through the ideas, values and interests of those producing human action and interaction”. Equally a mixed-methods was not analyzed by Authors Denzin and Lincoln, (1994), and Author Silveman (1985), who also uses qualitative research, which they define as an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary field that cross-cuts the human, social and physical sciences. But as a quick growing mode of inquiry in social sciences, not considering this mixed-method fails to provide a complete picture of the development of partnership research. Thirdly, this review only examined research methodologies in partnership research. Yet they are not compared with those of another similar field.


The review examined the different research methodologies and methods used in recent partnership studies. The purpose of the review was primarily descriptive. It helps researchers of partnerships aspects to identify the latest trends of the development in partnership studies and further supports the findings generated from the previous literature reviews with the empirical data.



Although most studies were often categorized by methods (Foster & Meinhard, 2003; Fountain, 2002; Mizrahi & Rosenthal, 2001; Mulroy, 2003), the analysis in this review is based on both research methodologies and methods.  For this reason, it is necessary to make a distinction between the two concepts. Research methodologies denotes to ‘the general logic and theoretical viewpoint ‘Bogdan and Biklen, 2007, p. 35) of a research, while methods denotes to specific strategies, procedures and techniques of analyzing and interpreting data (Bogdan and Biklen, 2007; Merriam, 2002).

There are three research methodologies that are generally accepted: quantitative, qualitative and mixed – methods (stake, 1995; Eilbert, 2003; Creswell, 2014). It should be noted however that each of these methods reveals a set of specifications of a conceptualization (ontological) and knowledge of understanding (epistemological) assumptions. For instance when carrying out a quantitative research, the investigators assume that reality of the phenomenon is not known to them and facts is objective and physical. In light of this, the investigators interpret their role as onlookers in the studies. On the other hand, in conducting qualitative research investigators assume that truth about the phenomenon exists independent of them and facts are more personal. In this case researchers interpret personal experiences in an exceptional social setting. Mixed methods investigators mostly employ both qualitative and quantitative methods (Baum, 1995; Greene, 2007; Johnson, Onwuegbuzi and Turner, 2007).

The main rationale of research methodology is because it expresses philosophical expectations but also provides guidance in the selections of research methods used in a study. Scholars such as Van Maanen (1983) defines qualitative methodology as an array of interpretative techniques which seeks to describe, decode, translate and otherwise come to terms with the meaning, not the frequency, of certain more or less naturally occurring phenomena in the social world. Yet, qualitative research according to Ghauri and Gronhaug (2005) argue that qualitative research is more phenomenological and inductive in nature. This means that it focuses on establishing an understanding from respondent’s feedback, with the skills and experiences of the researcher playing a critical role, especially in data analysis (Creswell, 2003). The primary techniques categorised under qualitative research methods include interview, observations and other methods (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005). The advantage of qualitative methods is that it provides a rich descriptive data that aids better understanding of any research problem for which more knowledge is still wanting. This is because it assists in gaining new viewpoints on problems about which little is yet known or to gain more in-depth information that may be difficult to convey quantitatively (ibid). The qualitative research method on the other hand stresses the examination of compound situations which cannot always be easily quantified. This is a subjective approach to finding answers to research questions (Beedles, 2002). This approach furthermore can deliver the elaborate details of phenomena that are occasionally difficult to constitute and derive through quantitative methods (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). The limitations of the qualitative research technique are that: the method is not a formal research approach to quantify data (Miles and Huberman, 1984); and requires rich and complex data, and it is often difficult to build a theory and theoretical description (Eisenhardt, 19890). As a result, generalization of the findings is the most problematic facet for this research approach (Beedles, 2002). On the other hand, quantitative method is conventionally grounded on the positivist approach to explore phenomena. This also motivates the deductive model which shows hypothesized associations.  Sooper and Schinder (2001. p. 49) affirms that in respect to interpreting the causal hypothesis, ‘the trend is evident from the nature of the variables. Quantitative approach is often characterized by the use of deductive form of logic wherein theories and hypothesizes are chosen before the study begins and remains fixed throughout the study (Creswell, 2003) The primary technique of employing the quantitative methodology is by the use of questionnaire surveys with worked out rules and procedures (Creswell, 2009). This study approach provides a solid answer to the research questions technically which is defined in an objective way and measured through statistical tools and techniques (Rosner, 1990). The quantitative approach also displays some intrinsic limitations. As the research approach is not designated to facts of single phenomena, this may not continually be vindicated in complex and more intricate observable situations. In addition, this research method limits the objectivists’ approach and is not suitable for subjective experiments or information where statistical analysis is not essential for comprehensive discussion of the situation (Beedles, 2002). Moreover, this technique may not be beneficial to gather a historical process involving changes (Morgan and Smircich, 1980).  As mixed methods of research combines both qualitative and quantitative methods, it has been preferred by many researchers. However, whether a study used qualitative, or quantitative, mixed methods of research is preferred for its breadth and depth in terms of data collection, analysis, and interpretation, for broader understanding and corroboration (Creswell, 2009). Therefore, it is the methodology but not the methods that defines whether a study is qualitative, quantitative or of mixed methods. An example a researcher opts to use observation and process analysis to data collection. But is the researcher decide on the working definitions of the observed behaviors before carrying out a study and are only interested in the frequency of the observed behaviors, the differences between the two groups of respondents and the effect of one variable on another variables, this research is just an example of qualitative methodology.

Aside, research methods involve the actual process of carrying out research and the information generated by analyzing of the methods is important to understanding research in partnership aspects. In light of this the paper presents reviews research methods used in recent partnership studies.


This section presents a theoretical framing of discusses of a collection of interrelated research methods commonly used in partnership studies. It guides the research by providing a philosophical basis on which the studies in partnership related studies are conducted, and how it forms the link between the theory and their practical components during investigation. This theoretical framing therefore has implications for the decisions made in a research process (Martens, 1998). Below is a collection of the theoretical discussions, methods, and the epistemology underpinning researches in partnership studies, (Crotty, 1998).

Survey Research Method


The survey research method involves the use of standardized questionnaires or interviews as tools of data collection about participant’s and their perception in a systematic way (…….).A questionnaire is a research tool consisting of a set of questions intended to capture responses from respondents in a standardized way. Questions may be structured or unstructured. Unstructured questions ask respondents to provide a respond in their own words, while structured questions ask respondents to select an answer from a given set of choices. For example Weiss, et al. (2002), in exploring “The Relationship between Partnership Synergy and Partnership Functioning” and focusing on the characteristics of the partnership as a whole, data was collected using Semi-Structured Qualitative Interviews. Furthermore, semi-structured qualitative interviews instrument content according to Weiss, et al is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with people in partnerships. The use semi-structured interviews to provide questions prepared ahead of time. This prior preparation gives the researcher confidence during the interview. It also allows informants the freedom to express themselves freely in the best way they could. Conclusively, the semi-structured interview method is seen to provide more reliable and comparable qualitative data. Questions should be designed such that respondents are able to read, comprehend and respond to them in a meaningful manner. The survey research method can be used for descriptive, exploratory and explanatory studies. This means it is appropriate for studies that have individual participants as the unit of analysis such as employees, board members of partnerships are often used as key informants.

Weiss, et al. (2002), in exploring “The Relationship between Partnership Synergy and Partnership Functioning” and focusing on the characteristics of the partnership as a whole, data was collected from multiple informants within each partnership. According to Weiss, et al. after a partner agrees to participate in a study, questionnaires are mailed with a personally addressed, hand-signed cover letter to all the active and knowledgeable partners in the partnership, as identified by the researcher. This helps to ease data analysis, as tabulation for nearly all surveys are easily done with many computer software packages. It also helps to reduce bias as the questionnaires provide uniform question presentation and researcher’s own opinions would not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner. Most of the questions are close-ended, with a few being open-ended. This gives respondents an opportunity to clarify their answers and provide additional information.

In an “Examination of Factors That Influence the Motivation for Participation in a Collaborative Partnership”, Ivery, ((2004), begins by identifying the primary contact persons with whom the list of organizations that are recruited to participate in the study. He employs stratified sampling plan in the study and randomly gives the small size of the sampling frame. A concern on the potential high non-response rate among these organizations is raised, and the decision to include all partners in the sampling frame is made. After the sampling frame is defined, the pre-study data-gathering consists of informal conversations with partner organizations, and their staff, together with the collection of various secondary materials. A two-phase study is then selected in order to gain a full perspective on partnership. Furthermore, Mulroy, (2003) studying “Community as a factor in Implementing Inter-organizational Partnerships: issues, constraints, and adaptations” uses qualitative research. This type of research follows a constructivist tradition in which truth is not absolute but rather varies and arises from a consensus among stakeholders within a given historical and temporal context.

The strengths of survey research method include: 1) is appropriate for measuring a wide variety of unobservable data such as people perception. 2) Suited for remote data collection about a population that if too large to observe directly e.g for a region, where mail-in or electronic mail or telephone surveys using meticulous sampling can be used to ensure that population is adequately represented in the small sample. 3) it ability to  for participants to respond at their convenience; 4) large sample surveys allow detection of small effect even while analysing multiple variables, and depending on the design, may also allow comparative analysis of the population sub groups. Last, it is economical in terms of resaehcers time, effort and cost. However, survey research method has also weaknesses such as: 1) it is subject to respondent bias if the questionnaire is not very clear on what is required, and non response bias, sampling bias; 2) May not be appropriate for certain demographic groups such as children, the illiterate

Questionnaire can be self-administered mail survey, where same questionnaire is mailed to a large number of participants   and willing res[podents can complete and return in postage.

Interview Survey Research Method


Interview survey research method is a more personalized data collection and mainly conducted by trained interviewers using a research protocol e.g standard set of questions. The interview script contains special instructions for the interviewer that is not seen by respondents. For instance , Weiss, et al. (2002), in exploring “The Relationship between Partnership Synergy and Partnership Functioning” and focusing on the characteristics of the partnership as a whole, data was collected using In-depth Interviews from multiple informants within each partnership.

Anderson (2005), studying “Partnership between agribusiness and peasants: Its implication on Rural Development” followed a qualitative account and synthesis from secondary data and field work in rural areas. Preliminary discussions are carried out prior to and during field work in order to select the villages, groups and individuals to be included in the study. The study uses observations, individual interviews and group discussions. Participatory research methods such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) as in triangulation, observation, semi-structured interviews, ranking and scoring techniques, wealth ranking, etc) are used throughout the two-month study. Participatory methods used during field work facilitate communication between the researcher and local people, and amongst the local people themselves. These methods enhance the understanding and analysis of local situations, problems and possible opportunities (Pretty et al., 1995). According to Chambers (1993), PRA facilitates collection, presentation and analysis of information with the rural people.

According to Patton, 1987:108), and Yin 1994:84 utilise in-depth interviews. Patton, notes that in-depth interview is an important source of qualitative data. This is because it allows the researcher to enter into another person’s world and understand the person’s perspective from his/her own context. Furthermore, to Patton, such an in-depth interview serves as a source of meaning and elaboration of the partnership concept from different respondents. (Paton ibid and Yin 1994:84) asserts that interviews may take several forms. These include: informal conversational interviews, the general interview guide approach and the standard open-ended interviews. However, to them, the greatest weakness with the informal conversational interview is the great amount of time used to generate data in a more systematic form during the analysis stage. Also, time is spent on finding a pattern that emerges at different points in different interviews with different respondents. Nonetheless, the pattern which emerges to a great extent helps in revisiting the questions for the subsequent interviews.  Strengths it: 1) may include space for the interviewer to record person observations and comments; 2) the interviewer had the opportunity to clarify any issue raised by the respondents or ask probing questions or follow up questions. Weakness is that 1) it is time consuming and resource intensive; 2) special interviewing skills are required for the interviewer.

A variation of the personal interview is the focus group discussion (FGDs), which is a technique where a small group of respondents (usually 6-10 respondents) are interviewed together in a common location. The interviewer is essentially a facilitator charged with the responsibility of leading the discussions and ensuring that every participant has an opportunity to respond. A cross-sectional survey and focus group design is used to collect observations on partners. The follow-up qualitative survey and focus groups (Rice and Ezzy 1999), is identified. The purpose is to clarify and provide a more in-depth discussion of issues identified in the one-on-one interviews. More specifically, the objective is to gather perceptions and challenges participants encounter in developing the partnership. The groups are also to give possible solutions with a view to examining how they fit with the proposed model, and explore alternative explanations where there is a mismatch. The quality and validity of the research are improved by bringing in these diverse views and local knowledge (Israel et al 1998; Krieger et al 2002).

Advantages of FDGs are that they 1) allow deeper examination of complex issues, because when people discuss different ideas. for instance, in a study on partnership,  “Engaging Communities: An evaluation of a community development model for tackling rural fuel poverty”, Rugkasa, Shortt, & Boydell, (2004), all members of the steering partnership were invited to take part in focus groups, and partner representatives were interviewed individually. The focus groups and interviews helped gain insights into people’s shared understandings of partnership and community development. Topic guides were developed prior to the interviews and were based on a review of the project documentation. All interview questions were open-ended, allowing interviewees the time to introduce and elaborate and prioritize on the themes. These types of questions also allow lengthy discussions of key features of the process, rationale and strategy. In the paired and group interviews, respondents are able to react and build upon the responses of others, while at the same time exploring on the experiences of those who were taking part in the change process. According to Rugkasa, Shortt, & Boydellused, research methods correspond with the two strands of the evaluations; strand 1 explores the outcomes for householders, and strands 2 focuses on the project’s process and delivery mechanisms. The ‘impact and effectiveness’ strand on the other hand helps to focus on the generation of partnership and wider outcomes for partnership role, and their impact on extended service provision. The process helps in evaluating partnership operations, funding, sustainability and management.Weakness, DFGs may be dominated by a dominant personality if not well managed; 2) others may be reluctant to voice their opinion in front of their peers or superiors especially for sensitive issues say incomes of people, office politics, etc

What to note while conducting interviews 1) interviewers should prepare a kit to carry to the interview session, consisting of a c cover letter from principal researcher, adequate copies of the survey tool, photos identification, and telephone number for respondents to call to verify the interviewer’s authenticity. During the interview the interviewer should follow the questionnaire scripts and ask questions exactly as written


The Case Study Research Method

The case research also called case study, is a method of exhaustively studying a phenomenon over time within its natural situation in one or few sites. Several methods of data collection may be used including interviews, observations, etc. The case study research method is defined by Yin (2014, p.10), as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context. GAO (1990), defined a case study as “a method for learning about a complex instance, based on a comprehensive understanding of that instance, obtained by extensive description and analysis of that instance, taken as a whole and in its context. According to Denzin and Lincoln, (1994), the case represents an integrated system of patterned behavior. However, (Yin, 1993, p.9) alludes to the fact that the selection of these cases to be studied is often the difficult step in a case study research. In relation to this Creswell (1998) suggests that case studies can be developed from three different theoretical perspectives; that is, no use of existing theory; use of a theory to develop the analytical framework; and use of a theory after evidence is collected to explain a phenomenon.  Gillham (2001) in addition argues that a case study should have “a case” which is the object of the research. The case study relate with other research methods because it is a methodology where different methods are combined with help in illuminating a case from different angles: to triangulate by combining methodologies. May studies that have examined different aspects of partnerships such as George, and Bennet, 2004; Flyybierg, 2006; and Eisenhardt, Graebner, 2007have used case studies.

For example Eilbert (2003) used exploratory case studies, which involve making site visits to two identified community health partnerships. Preliminary telephone discussions with people at the case sites identified by experts in the case site selection; visits to each site to attend where possible, meetings and carried out interviews with participants. The case study approach helped to inform sound generalization of findings. For instance, according Eilbert, the findings from the case partnerships were used to underpin the work of other similar partnerships which demonstrated that imbalances of power and control between partners affect efforts for strengthening partnerships for health promotion activity. In researching on “Local Partnerships in Ireland”, Turok, (2000), examines four case studies to gain more detailed insights into the partnership process. The case study examples are broadly representative of the total population management of partnerships, including one rural and three urban. The study also uses interviews and evidence obtained during the study. Turok examines the operations and effectiveness of local partnerships in Ireland, together with their achievements.

In studying “Business Non-profit Partnerships as Learning Arenas: More than just transactions?” Roscher (2009), uses case study methodology. Roscher (2009), used the case study methodology where investigation was conducted in a rather post positivist tradition, starting from what was empirically available. Roscher views collaboration in the light of the interactions taking place and as a rather open, very individual process (constructivist approach) with a strong emphasis on the outcomes (pragmatist view). Therefore, the investigation was conducted in the frame of several case studies however, comparability was very limited. Roscher employed the case identification approach because of the great variety of cases in cross-sector partnerships as seen in social organizations and businesses. Three cases were chosen on the basis of variety of criteria, of: sufficiently mature partnerships (so the structures are already set up); one with a strategic importance to the partnering organizations; and those whose ties quality is at arm’s length vs. embedded ties.

Furthermore, Walsh (2004), while researching on “Partnerships for effective development: Partnership Theory and Practice” employs case study approach to illustrate the factors that contribute to successful partnerships for local development. Walsh uses seven case studies; three of them were handled by one partner and the rest (four) by another partner.  Each case study however, sought to outline how the local partnerships were established, what contributed to their success, what worked well and what were the lessons leant, and the barriers to effectiveness. To address these questions, Walsh developed a template for each study which helped to collect information from primary and secondary sources on the background context to formation of the partnerships, membership of the partnership, operating procedures, results achieved and replicable lessons. He also borrowed from the systems theory to explore the issues of partnerships to improve the health of the community. A case study methodology is therefore, well suited for the study of partnership, given that it too, is a system of patterned behavior, influenced by its environment. As an open system that influences and is influenced by its environment, the partnership is indistinguishable from its context, where explanatory variables can be found.

Further Knight, 1998, argue that case studies are used as instructive research methods in instances where, research is exploratory in nature and the phenomenon under study is complex. The aim is to build/generate theory, as it helps to draw out new insights on phenomena, which would significantly enhance existing knowledge on a topic. The key strength of case study research is that it paves way for a holistic view of a specific process and/or phenomenon. The case studies in my study on “Partnership between NGOs and Smallholder Farmer Groups: Implications for Rural Development in Uganda” presented the meanings of partnership by their members, as depicted by the researcher (Nalere, 2015). Case studies are good in guiding the development of analytic and problem solving skills, allows for exploration of solutions for complex issues, and allows applying new knowledge and skills. Case studies, were designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the participants by using multiple sources of data Thus selection of cases was done so as to maximize what can be learned in the period of time available for the study, thus the unit of analysis was a critical factor in the case study. Case studies tended to be selective, focusing on one or two issues that are fundamental to understanding the partnership system being examined. On the contrary, case study may provide insufficient information that can lead to inappropriate results, thus should be used with caution.

In general, some of the unique strength of case research method use in partnership related studies includes 1) it uses either in a positivist way for the purpose of theory testing or in an interpretive way for theory building. 2) it allows modification of the research questions during the research process, should the original questions come out not to be relevant/ silent; 3) it helps derive wealthier and more contextualized and more authentic interpretation of partnership aspects, given its ability to capture a rich array of contextual data. 4) partnership aspects can be studied from the perspective of multiple participants and using multiple levels of analysis (e.g individual and partnership as a whole). Notwithstanding the above strengths, case research method has some limitations. Frist, because it involves not experimental control, internal validity of inferences remains weak. Nonetheless, this problem of controls may be addresses in case research using “natural controls”. Secondly, the quality of inferences resulting from case research hinges on profoundly on the integrative powers of the researcher. For example an experienced researcher may see concepts and patterns in case data than a novice researcher. In this case the findings may be criticized as being subjective. Lastly, the fact that the inference is deeply contextualized, it may be difficult to generalize inferences from case research to other context or other organizations.

When using case research method in studying partnership aspects, there are some key decisions the researcher needs to consider. First, ensure that it is the right method for the research questions being studied. For example case research method is particularly relevant for : exploratory studies for discovering relevant constructs in areas where theory building is at the formative level,  for studies where experiences of participants and context of actions are important, and for studies aimed at understanding complex, temporal processes aspect on partnerships; for studying partnership processes that involve multiple participants and interacting sequences of events, such as partnership change, etc. second,  knowing the appropriate unit of analysis. Whether the researcher wishes to study an  aspect at individual or group or partnership or multiple levels. Thirdly, knowing the design to use – whether a single or multiple case design. For instance, a single design is more appropriate at the outset of theory generation, but a multiple design more useful for theory testing in order to establish generalization of inferences.


Literature Review

A literature is a “critical analysis of a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification and comparison of prior research studies (Boote and Beile, 2005). Boote and Beile, further argue that a literature reviw is an evaluation of report of studies found in the literature related to a selected area. The relevancy of the literature is to provide a context of the research, justify the study, ensure the research has not been done before; shows where the research fits into the existing body of knowledge; highlights, the flaws in previous work; and help refine, refocus the research topic.

In researching on “Local Partnerships in Ireland”, Turok, (2000), examines four case studies to gain more detailed insights into the partnership process. He further draws on previous reports and papers, interviews and evidences assembled during a study visits. Turok presents the results of survey research which compares the different types of Irish partnerships in terms of their origins, growth, activities and impacts, and assesses the Irish Partnership experience within the context of research in seven other EU countries. Such a comparative approach provides insights which assume particular interest at a time when the Irish Government adopts new initiatives to promote greater co-ordination of partnership activities at a county level.

the review can be desk Research such used In a research paper presented at the 57th Annual United Nations Department of Public Information/NGO Conference in New York; “Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action”, New York, on “North/South Partnerships: Different responsibilities and Opportunities – The role of NGOs in Meeting the MDGs” Kalima, (2004)  uses desk research approach to describe the numerous types of partnerships at the regional, international and global levels: South –South, North–North, and South–North partnerships.  According to Kalima (2004), this eases and quickens field research (primary research). According to Kent (1993), desk research involves gathering data that already exists either from internal database, publications of both governmental and non-governmental institutions, professional local and national newspapers and magazines, or commercial databases. Desk research advantages include both being cheap and time effective. Carrying out an initial desk research is strongly recommended to gain background knowledge for primary research and/ or providing an alternative for doing primary research.

Roscher, (2009) in studying the Business Non-profit Partnerships as Learning Arenas: More than just transactions (Roscher, 2009) Analysis of Documents In order to gather as most data as possible, various means are used: analysis of documents directly relates to partnerships; as well as documents that may express changes within the organizations and their strategies based on partnership activities, e.g. mission statements or similar documents. The press and other media documentation are used. All partners and other participants joins the management in the semi-structured interviews.

Researching on “Effectiveness of Alliance and Partnerships for Health Promotion”, Gillies (1997), adopts the reviewing of evidence approach which takes two forms: a) Published literature review, b) health expert opinion, and c) case study. There are two types of literature, the published and unpublished. Therefore, the Published Literature Review involves using the search strategy of particular partnerships. According to Gillies, this approach provides original sources of data which were abstracted for analysis presented in Roe et al. 1997.  According to Gillies, each of those regions contributed up to five current best practices on partnerships for health promotion. Gillies, (1997), further uses randomized controlled trials approaches in the literature review.

Equally, Weiss, et al. (2002), in exploring “The Relationship between Partnership Synergy and Partnership Functioning” and focusing on the characteristics of the partnership as a whole, data was collected from multiple informants within each partnership. Weiss, et al. (2002), also reviews the existing literature and instruments that have been used in partnership research and evaluations, so as to establish any existing research related to this study. This includes getting familiar with the historical and seminal theories and research studies, as well as the most recent cutting-edge studies. The review of the existing literature brings forth new ideas, while at the same time enhances the credibility of both the study and the researcher.


For Hartwich, et al. (2007), researching on the “Building Public-Private Partnerships for Agricultural Innovation in Latin America: Lessons from Capacity Strengthening” applies several sources of information such as in-depth interviews, focus groups done with partners and relevant literature review.Hartwich include review of a number of policy documents, project documents and the academic literatures. These helps to verify, disprove, or make known conclusions reached on partnerships using focus groups and in-depth interview approaches. The use of extensive and relevant literature review was an attempt to summarize or comment on what is already known about partnerships for rural development. By collecting different sources, synthesizing and analyzing them critically, essentially create new knowledge and perspectives. Literature review helps the verification of findings in comparison with others (Manamela, 1993:43).

Finally, Mattessiech & Monsey, (1992) studying “Collaboration in Health, Social Science, Education and Public Affairs”, reviews the research literature on Collaboration in Health, Social Science, Education and Public Affairs. They identify a total of 19 factor terms, as characteristics from 133 studies examined. Some of them include: 1)  Environmental characteristics (history of collaboration or cooperation in the community; partnership entity seen as a leader in the community; and political/ social climate is favorable); 2) Membership characteristics (mutual respect, understanding and trust among the members; appropriate cross-section of members; members sees collaboration as in their self-interest; ability to compromise; 3) Process / structure characteristic (members share a stake in both process and outcome; multiple layers of decision –making; flexibility, clear roles and policy guidelines developed; and adaptability). Others include 4) Communication characteristics (open and frequent communication; establishing informal and formal communication links); 5) Purpose characteristics (concrete, attainable goals and objectives; shared vision; and unique purpose); 6) Resources characteristics (sufficient funds; and a skilled convener). These six (6) characteristics, gives 19 factors, which provide the first synthesis of the critical factors that are crucial in successful partnerships.

A Summary of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Various Data Collections tools

In order to ensure construct validity, the requirement for multiple data collection methods is already observed.  The use of empirically validated instruments adds immeasurably to the vigour of the research. The use of rigorous qualitative research methods can enhance the quality of findings (Nicholas and Pope, 1995) as well as quality improvement efforts. The section below describes the strengths and weaknesses of the four crucial qualitative research methods (Marshall and Rossman, 1999).

Focus Groups

Focus groups are a great way to get input, feedback and dialogue with the potential consumer/audience (Webb, 2002).  The focus group interviews taps into human inclinations. Attitudes and perceptions relating to concepts, products or services are developed in part by collaboration with other people (Asbury 1995, p. 414). With this method, a small number of subjects are brought together to discuss the topic of interest. One of its advantages is that, members do not feel intimidated, but rather express opinions freely. It is also easy to manage as its size is kept deliberately small. Webb, further says that to aid the discussion, a topic guide is prepared beforehand and the discussion is led by the researcher, to ensure that a range of aspects of the topic are explored. The discussion is often tape-recorded, then transcribed and analyzed. The idea behind the focus group method is that the group processes helps participants to explore and clarify their views in ways that would be less easily accessible in a one to one interview When group dynamics work well the participants tend to work alongside the researcher, taking the research in new and often unexpected directions.

Drawing attention to the diversity of uses of the term focus groups, Kitzinger and Barbour (1999) initially defines them as “group discussions exploring a specific set of issues’ that are `focused’ because the process involves `some kind of collective activity’. The focus groups are quick, cheap and relatively easy to assemble.  It is good for getting rich data in participants’ own words and developing deeper insights. Members are able to build on others’ responses and come up with ideas they might not have thought of in a one on one interview. It should be noted however, that the focus groups can be expensive and time consuming, since one has to coordinate the members through a productive discussion. It’s easy to also get wrapped up in the focus group feedback as well.

Direct Observation

According to Johnson and Webb (1995), observation is used to gather evidence about how value judgments made by research participants can impact on decision making. Direct observation aims at having the researcher become immersed in or part of the population being studied. This is in order to develop a detailed understanding of the values and beliefs held by members of the population regarding the research topic. Occasionally, a list of observations that is required for research is prepared before-hand, other times, an observer makes notes about anything they observe for a later analysis. There are two types of observation methods: non-participant observation, and participant observation. The observation method of research is basically developed for observing people in their natural setting. It focuses more on their everyday normal life. This method helps in overcoming challenges on validity and bias. However, it is not appropriate if past events are being studied, since it may be difficult to frequently measure attitudes or opinions; yet selecting an appropriate sample may be tricky.


In-Depth Interviews

Frederikson, et al. (1996), in a study to explore family functioning and interpersonal relationships, used unstructured interviewing as a method of qualitative research, for lack of adequate theory and definitions. Interviews in qualitative research help probing of issues in detail, as they seldom involve asking a set of predetermined questions (Patton, 1987). The advantages are that in-depth interviews encourage subjects to express their views at length. Whereas, this also helps in obtaining more detailed information on the topic of study, it loses the richness that can arise in a group where issues and views are exchanged through a debate.


Surveys are of two broad categories: the questionnaire and the interview. Questionnaires are usually paper-and-pencil questions that the respondent answers (Glasow, 2005). Interviews are administered by the interviewer, with answers recorded based on what the respondent says. Questionnaires can be mail survey, which are relatively inexpensive to administer and allow the respondent to fill it out at their own convenience. However, it is known that the response rates from mail surveys are often very low. In the personal interview, the interviewer works directly with the respondent. This gives the interviewer the opportunity to probe or ask follow-up questions. However, the interviews can be very time-consuming and they are resource intensive.

Further methods used in qualitative research in partnership studies


  1. a) Expert Opinion: Helmer, (1983), argues that eliciting consensus from within a group of experts is more reliable than other methods of using panel decision making. The major advantage of this method is that it is a simple technique to use and the consensus will emerge with one representative opinion from the experts. Since this method provides confidentiality, many barriers to communication are overcome, such as reluctance to state unpopular view, to disagree with one’s associates, or to modify previously stated positions (Barnes, 1987). It however has some limitations such as the consensus reached may not be a true consensus; it may be a product of specious or manipulated consensus. A specious consensus does not contain the best judgment.

  1. b) Informal Conversation: This involves observing the participant’s view point through a natural interaction relying on the spontaneous generation of questions. This method doesn’t rely on any predetermined set of structured questions to ask participants but only relies on the interaction in order to guide the process of interview (McNamara, 2008). The merits for this method are that it allows some flexibility (Gall, Gall & Borg, 2003) in Turner, (2010). Also being able to interact with participants in an informal environment, the researcher is best placed to ask follow-up and probing questions, based on participants’ response. Hence, it could give a more personal approach to the interview. Despite these merits, this approach can be quite unstable or unreliable as the interview is quite inconsistent, making it complicated to code the data (Creswell, 2007). Besides, the interviewer may receive consistent answers from the respondents (McNamara, 2008) in Turner, (2010).

  1. c) Review of documents: This is a rich and valuable data collection method in qualitative research (Bowen, 2009). It is used to corroborate and augment evidence from other sources. In instances where documentary evidence is contradictory rather than corroboratory, the researcher employs other methods such as interviews to verify the evidences. This however, is an exceptional rather than a rule.


In a nutshell, the review of research methodologies and methods used in recent partnership studies indicated that researcher on partnerships have been keeping pace with recent developments of research methodologies in social sciences. For example the call to use advanced statistical techniques and sophisticated statistical methods such as correlation, and multilevel modeling as used by Creswell, (2009) and Beedles, (2002). As discussed above, research methodologies reflect truth in different partnership aspects. The perception shown in qualitative or mixed – methods research could not be revealed by quantitative methodologies. Although partnership related research is in a great need of methodological diversity, it also needs methodological rigor or rather more discussion of methodological issues. For example Ghauri and Gronhaug (2005) claimed that their study was qualitative just because they used methods such as interviews. However, yet according to Denzin and Lincoln, 2005) when a study fails to make sense of the phenomenon in terms of meanings people bring to them, then it does not qualify to be qualitative in nature. Since most mixed- method research relied on questionnaires or surveys through which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected, thus making them skewed towards quantitative methodologies.  In addition, the needs of methodological diversity and rigor, researchers on partnership aspects also need to combine diverse research efforts together so that converging evidence of partnerships is accumulated.

The review of research methodologies and methods used in recent partnership studies also identified some areas that require further research such as:1 ) the need to review the interactions among research methodologies; 2) questions such as what specific methodologies and methods are distributed in partnership related studies was not addressed; 3) comparison between partnership research and other fields in social sciences will also require further research.

Key W. Eilbert, (2003) A community Health Partnership Model: Using Organizational Theory to Strengthen Collaborative Public Health Practice. Exploratory Case Studies


Mixed qualitative method (semi-structured interview, focus group, documentary review)





System Theory


Exploratory Case studies helped in developing analytic and problem solving skills; allowed for exploration of solutions for complex issues, and also allowed the application of new knowledge and skills.

Mixed methods provided the opportunity for synthesizing of research traditions and gave the investigator additional perspectives and insights that are beyond the scope of any single technique. The results transcended the individual methods and disciplines.

Utilize systems theory to determine a separate process is set up to develop the partnership model that shows that inputs are required for partnership development activities.

Pamela Gillies, (1998) Effectiveness of Alliance and Partnerships for Health Promotion. Reviewing the evidence adopted two approaches: literature published, and health expert identified current best practice.


Case study accounts

Reviewing the evidence provided an understanding of the broad context of the topic of study and helped to avoid the duplication of existing research. The use of expert opinion not only provided inference on the research problems, but also informed the model and the potential pitfalls that could result, especially in data-limited situations. Therefore, experts provided a valuable source of information that offered useful insights into the study.



Case study provided a background for understanding current knowledge on the study topic and illuminated the significance for the new study

Hartwich, et al. (2007) Building Public–Private Partnerships for Agricultural Innovation in Latin America: Lessons from Capacity Strengthening.


In-depth interviews and focus groups

Literature review of a number of policy documents, project documents and the academic literature.

The in-depth interviews and focus groups helped to verify, disprove, or make known conclusions reached on partnerships;

Literature review attempted to summarize what is already known about the study.

Kalima, B. (2004) North/South Partnerships: Different Responsibilities and Opportunities – The role of NGOs in Meeting the MDGs Desk Research Desk research provided the background knowledge for primary research. It also served as an alternative for doing primary research.
Walsh, J. (2004)


Partnerships for effective development: Partnership Theory and Practice



Case study (a template for each study) Case study helped to scale down to researchable units on the topic. The template for each study helped to collect information from primary and secondary sources on the background context.
Andersson, R. D. (2005) Partnership between Agribusiness and Peasants: Its implication on Rural Development. The case of TIKO in the Vakinankaratra region of Madagascar Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools such as Triangulation, Observation, Semi-structured interviews, Ranking and scoring techniques, Wealth ranking, etc) PRA tools facilitated communication between the researcher and local people, and amongst local people themselves.  It also enhanced the understanding and analysis of local situations, problems and possible opportunities as it pertained to the study.
Rugkasa, Shortt, & Boydell, (2004) Engaging Communities: An evaluation of a community development model for tackling rural fuel poverty




Focus groups (FGs),


Interview guides


Review of the project documentation

FGs facilitated lengthy discussions to gain insights into people’s shared understandings of partnership and community development;

Open-ended questions of the interview guides allowed the interviewees to introduce and elaborate on themes that they considered being important.

The review documents helped to clarify the research question and also aligned the focus of large scale primary research.

Weiss et al. (2002) The relationship between partnership synergy and partnership functioning.





Multiple informants





Semi-structured qualitative interviews and Review of the existing literature

Multiple informants allowed for greater validity and greater reliability that came from having more information rather than less information about the study.

Questionnaires eased data analysis since data entry and tabulation for nearly all surveys were easily done with a computer software package. Questionnaires also helped to reduce bias as they provided uniform question presentation and researcher’s own opinions would not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner

Semi-structured qualitative interviews provided more reliable, comparable qualitative data, while review of the existing literature enhanced the credibility of the study and the researcher.

Ivery, M. J. (2004). Interorganizational Collaboration: An Examination of Factors That Influence the Motivation for Participation in a Collaborative Partnership of Homeless Service Providers. Pre-study (data gathering consisted of informal conversation, focus groups) and the main study approach.

Collection of various secondary materials included from journal articles, case reports, legal dictionaries and textbooks allowed.

A cross-sectional survey

Pre-study attempted to clarify and provide a more in-depth discussion of issues identified in the one-on-one interviews. It also helped to sharpen the definition of research problem and informed the main study. The main study presented the broader picture on the research  topic.

Collection of various secondary materials helped to compare with primary data – to see the validity and reliability of primary data.


A cross-sectional survey helped in gathering participant perceptions of the problems encountered in developing partnership and solutions attempted.

Mulroy, E. A. (2003) Community as a Factor in Implementing Interorganizational Partnerships: Issues, constraints, and adaptations Qualitative studies typically included interviews and observations as well as case studies, surveys, and historical and document analyses. The qualitative studies investigations helped in capturing in-depth the motivations, perception of the selected groups towards the different issues of the study on partnerships, by listening and analysing their way of expressing themselves in discussion groups or with non-directive interviews.


Mattessiech & Monsey (1992) Collaboration in Health, social Science, education and Public affairs Review of the research literature Review of the research literature, helped to show the originality and relevance of research problem. It also provided justifications of the methodology used in the study.


Roscher, H (2009). Business Non-profit Partnerships as Learning Arenas: More than just transactions?



Case studies



Analysis of documents


Press and other media documentation

Semi-structured) interviews

The case study research design helped in focus on specific and interesting cases that are relevant to the study. It as a method helped to narrow down a very broad field of research into one easily researchable topic

Analysis of documents helped to minimize time and costs. It also served as a stand-alone data collection procedure or as a precursor to collecting new data using other methodologies.


Also press and other media documentation were used because they are easy to come by everywhere as many people use media.


Semi-structured interviews with participating persons helped researcher to gain rapport and participants’ trust, as well as a deeper understanding of responses.

Knight, H (1998) Exploring the Fourth Sector Investigating Multi-stakeholder Cross-Sector Social Partnerships in Societal Arts Marketing Qualitative methodologies





Case studies

Qualitative methodologies were used as they were seen to be able to accommodate and actually embrace the complexity, irrationality, irregularity and subjectivity of the nature of humans, their values and social mores.

The case studies helped to build/generate theory, as it helped to draw out new insights on phenomena, which significantly enhanced existing knowledge on a topic. This is because provided a holistic view of a specific process/phenomenon.

Turok, (2000) Local Partnerships In Ireland case studies




Comparative approach


Case studies to gain more detailed insights into the partnership process. The case examples were broadly representative of the total population of partnerships, including one rural (Oak) and three urban

A comparative approach provided insights which assumed particular interest at a time when the adopted new initiatives to promote greater co-ordination of partnership activities at a county level were being done.



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[1] Corresponding author, email: p.nalere4377@student.leedsbeckett.ac.uk / nalerepatrick@hotmail.com

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