Strengthening Skills in Research Methods in Higher Education Institutions to Improve Societal Resilience to Disasters

Renuka Thakore, Champika Liyanage, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Amina Mustapha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper provides a strategic approach to strengthening research methods skills in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to improve disaster resilience (DR). The findings are based on an initial assessment of the nature, scale and beneficiaries of the research methods training program developed as a part of an ERAMUS+ project called ASCENT (Advancing Skill Creation to ENhance Transformation). This project aims at addressing Research and Innovation (R&I) capacity strengthening for the societal DR. The paper examines what research methods skills are needed to be improved in HEIs in three countries, i.e. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. This was examined mainly with the use of an online survey questionnaire that was sent to 08 HEIs from these three countries. Altogether 530 responses were received from both the academic and research staff in these institutions. The responses were analysed using version SPSS 23.0 with several analysis techniques such as Mann-Witney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Principal Component Analysis. The research findings revealed that both academic and research staff lack capacity in research methods such as elite interviews, observations, document studies (e.g. secondary data analysis), probabilistic method, interdisciplinary thinking, field experiments, sampling techniques and Delphi studies. The strategic approach to strengthening research methods skills, therefore, focuses on developing a comprehensive and structured research methods training programme encompassing the aforementioned research methods. In addition, several modes of training such as face-to-face, and online training were incorporated in this strategic approach to suit the nature, scale and beneficiaries of the research method training program.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-953
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
Early online date22 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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