FIC faculty and researchers participate in ‘Lean Research’ initiative

On April 15, 2015, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MIT D-Lab, and Feinstein International Center co-hosted Lean Lab, a day-long convening to reflect on the Lean Research initiative to make field research in international settings more rigorous, relevant, respectful and right-sized. Kim Wilson, a Feinstein International Center Visiting Fellow, has been one of the leaders of the Lean Research Initiative. She is joined in this effort by Roxani Krystalli and Rachel Gordon, as well as by staff members at the MIT D-Lab, and students and faculty at The Fletcher School.

Acting FIC Director Karen Jacobsen spoke at Lean Lab about lessons learned from a process of attempting to collect and share evidence about displaced populations in the humanitarian context. Roxani Krystalli, the Program Manager of the Humanitarian Evidence Program, discussed insights from the program’s inception period, including lessons learned about research uptake and the use of existing evidence-based research in the humanitarian field.

About Lean Research: Lean Research is a framework and emerging approach to guide field research in the contexts of international development and humanitarian work. It is also a growing community of practice committed to developing, implementing, and learning from this approach. The Lean Research framework document provides a glimpse into the specifics of this approach, while the Lean Research working paper details the reasons behind the formation of this movement, elaborates on the approach, and traces its linkages to other initiatives contemplating how to conduct rigorous, relevant, respectful and right-sized research in field settings.

About Lean Lab: The April 15, 2015 Lean Lab event consisted of sharing stories of ‘lean’ and ‘un-lean’ field research from the fields of international development, conflict analysis, humanitarian assistance, and beyond, as well as of a simulation seeking to highlight what designing and implementing research in various fields may look like under the Lean Research approach. Key insights from the day are captured in this Storify compilation.