Hey, I'm Rachel - a researcher and anthropologist who works in development. I do rigorous qualitative and mixed-methods research on topics that relate to social change.
Some social problems can't be solved by throwing more resources at them. Sometimes, we need to challenge our preconceived ideas and build a deeper understanding of what is happening - and why. Research can be used for many purposes, but deeper understanding is always my primary goal.
Rigorous research can uncover counter-intuitive insights and highlight unheard perspectives. Doing so requires trust, connection, sensitivity and experience. To be credible, it also requires strong methodologies and thorough, systematic attention to nuance, patterns, and details.
I do research about topics that matter deeply - power and prejudice, education and development, "us and them" paradigms. Research in these areas often points to the need for justice and social/policy changes. I see empirical research as an important foundation for social action, activism and accountability.