Multi-disciplinarity and mixed methods

IOB found its desired approach adequately expressed in Jennifer C. Greene’s understanding of policy-oriented ‘mixed methods’ research as consisting in inviting “(…) multiple ‘mental models’ into the same inquiry space for purposes of respectful conversation, dialogue, and learning one from the other, towards a collective generation of the phenomena studied. By definition, then, mixed methods social inquiry involves a plurality of philosophical paradigms, theoretical assumptions, methodological traditions, data gathering and analysis techniques, and personalized understandings and value commitments, because these are the stuff of mental models.” This matches our understanding of the socially negotiated nature of development processes, almost by definition requiring an encounter and mediation of different ‘knowledges’ of relevant stakeholders. As expressed in a Ghanaian (Ewe) proverb: ‘Wisdom is like a baobab tree: no one individual can embrace it.’