No straight lines

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a researcher in the field of development, it’s this: there are no straight lines. People around the world don’t think, speak, move or imagine their future in a straight line. It’s the unpredictable and spontaneous directions of life they follow, and those are far from linear.

And so, development and change are delivered through winding paths; found on the side roads and along the way, as part of what is likely an exciting, surprising, non-straight line. With a toolbox of ethnographic methods and cultural principles, I help to study these lines. Here is how:

Development challenges are people challenges. As an anthropologist, I connect with people to unpack the unique, complex frameworks of their lives. Through connection, I decipher what people value and discover whether and how potential solutions might resonate.

People and environments are diverse, and so are my research methods. I use any given mixture of qualitative (interviews, focus group discussions, participant-observation) and quantitative methods (questionnaires), depending on the challenge at hand. 

Not just an observation but an interpretation. I have a stockpile of case studies and cultural theory that help produce key insights and get different angles on the questions, approaches, and ideas surrounding the research.

Remember the people involved. I believe good research is essentially collaborative. It is a creative undertaking, drawing on the resources, skills, and perspectives of everyone involved, to create something unique – and enjoy it together!

Interested in working together? Connect and let’s chat!

Filipa Oitavén Consulting is a company registered in The Netherlands with company (KVK) number 76477614.

Scroll to top