Educating First and Third World Development Planners: The Role of Qualitative Evaluations

  • Hemalata C. Dandekar
Part of the Urban Innovation Abroad book series (UIA)


I was introduced to Dominick’s café as a student in 1968. The Department of Architecture, at The University of Michigan, where I had just enrolled for graduate work, was at that time housed in the building that stands across from the café. My advisor, Steve Paraskevopoulos, had taken me there to begin my orientation to higher education in the United States. I had never been given this much attention by any faculty member during my five years of undergraduate life at the University of Bombay, not even when I received prizes — and I had won all the ones offered in the College of Architecture — nor when I graduated at the top of my class in the university.


Qualitative Method Qualitative Approach Doctoral Student World Country Foreign Student 
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  1. 1.
    See Hemalata C. Dandekar, 1986, “Some uses and potentials of qualitative methods”, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 6, 1: 42–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    An early and significant work that stimulated considerations of “project fit with institutional and societal context” was A.O. Hirschman’s Development Projects Observed. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution, 1967.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Donald Schon’s work on organizations and David Korten’s work on process have been significant.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For a listing of some of the significant work in qualitative methods in planning, see Hemalata C. Dandekar, “Some uses and potentials of qualitative methods.” See also the offerings by Sage publications in the series on Qualitative Research Methods, edited by John Van Maanen, including the publication of Jerome Kirk and Marc L. Muller, Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research, Vol. 1, October 1985.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Hemalata Dandekar, “Qualitative methods” in: Urban Planning, J.C. Snyder and A.J. Catanese, eds., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1988.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    This viewpoint is elaborated by various authors in W.J. Filstead, ed., Qualitative Methodology, Markham, Chicago, 1970. This is an edited collection of papers, directed primarily at issues and problems encountered by sociologists using qualitative methods. In the editor’s words the purpose of the book is “to provoke those who measure everything and understand nothing.” What is suggested is the need for more inductive theory. In the introduction the term “qualitative methodology refers to those research strategies, such as participant observation, in-depth interviewing, total participation… which allow the researcher to obtain firsthand knowledge about the empirical social world in question. Qualitative methodology allows the researcher to (get close to the data) thereby developing the analytical, conceptual, and categorical components of explanation from the data itself—rather than from the preconceived, rigidly structured, and highly quantified techniques that pigeonhole the empirical social world into the operational definitions that the researcher has constructed” (p. 6). The need and the importance of a marriage of qualitative and quantitative methodology in the field of sociology are articulated by Morris Seldiatch in a chapter entitled “Some methodological problems of field studies” (Filstead, 1970, pp. 217–231).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For a personalized description of these early beginnings of planning thoughts in the US, see John Friedmann, “Encounters” and “Precursor: Karl Mannheim,” in Retracking America, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1973, revised 1981, pp. 13–48.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See Hemalata C. Dandekar, Men to Bombay, Women at Home: Urban Influence on Sugao Village, Deccan Maharashtra, India. 1942–82, Center for South and Southeast Asia, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1986.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Some of the complexities of these connections are described in Hemalata C. Dandekar, “On communications and their lack in international development planning,”Discussion paper no. 2, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, September 1982.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hemalata C. Dandekar
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

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