How to quickly, yet systematically, become smart about a topic when seeking solutions to public problems? What questions to answer that can help assess the problem and solutions space better? How to identify rapidly the stakeholders that matter? Today, the GovLab released a new resource seeking to enable problem-solvers to design agile and creative responses to public challenges based upon research and due diligence.
The “R-Search” rapid research methodology encompasses two central components that, when leveraged, can enable researchers to develop, iterate and implement evidence-based solutions to public problems:
- Getting smart quickly on a topic by:
- developing a clear and detailed understanding of the problem and solution area;
- identifying actors at play in the problem and solution space; and
- understanding the larger context in which the problem and potential solutions exist.
- Staying in the know regarding new developments in the problem and solution space.
R-Search, consistent with the GovLab’s action research approach, is not premised on the belief that static, in-the-lab research should get in the way of real-world problem-solving. Rather, the R-Search approach is built around the notion that:
- Seemingly intractable problems require agile and creative responses; and
- Meaningful and agile creativity can only arise when there is a rapid understanding of the topic at hand.
R-Search, therefore, seeks to:
- enable the development of a MAP (a topic’s Milieu, relevant Actors and existing Problem space) of issues, scholarship, actions and opinions surrounding a topic to allow for the design of responses that are more informed and targeted;
- allow for the development of a baseline against which progress can be measured;
- enable the completion of a project canvas to guide development, implementation and assessment; and
- provide for knowledge-building to inform rapid prototyping.