You are here


Hard-to-Reach: Applied Research Methods with Hidden, Marginal and Excluded Populations

Aug 03

Course Outline

Focussing on Hard-to-Reach populations, the course provides an introduction to research methods in conducting research, both qualitative and quantitative, on marginal, hidden and excluded populations. It will cover research on topics such as migrants; refugees and displaced people; children and adolescents; sex workers; homeless; LGBT; victims of violence, conflicts or trafficking; HIV/AIDS; drug users as well as topics proposed by participants. Aimed to promote action-oriented research, the course introduces the main theories and research approaches on exclusion and marginalization using different frameworks and techniques. It addresses methods and strategies to address the dangers associate with the lack of systematic use of solid research methodology, ethics, data collection and analysis in the formulation and evaluation of policies and programs.

The course is designed to bring together academics (Researchers, PhD and masters students) and practitioners (from NGOs, UN and Government Agencies), creating a unique opportunity for experience sharing and methodological cross-fertilization.


The course aims to enable participants to undertake empirical research with marginal and hidden populations, and seeks to encourage participants to develop methodological strategies for the collection and analysis of such data.

The course will provide tools to address key issues such as the lack of known sampling frame, the difficulties in reaching the target group; the concepts of impact, attribution and contribution; and the political dimension of research findings. The course explores topics such as basic and advanced estimation and sampling techniques; participatory research; evidence-based policy versus policy-based evidence; innovation, crowdsourcing and the use of technology; the art of combining qualitative and quantitative methods; and ethical considerations arising when conducting research with hidden and marginalized populations. It covers quantitative techniques such as adaptive cluster sampling, capture and recapture, RDS (Respondent Driven Sampling), network analysis, as well as participatory research methods.

Event information
03/08/2020 - 07/08/2020
Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS)
Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Oxford, United Kingdom