Please assess the candidate's file by filling in this form providing both a numerical rating (where requested) as well as qualitative comments.
Title of research proposal
Linking cultural ecosystem services and wellbeing to improve the design and implementation of coastal conservation initiatives under conditions of rapid change
A. RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCH
A1. Does the proposed research clearly define a relevant problem?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being not very relevant and 5 being extremely relevant.
I would give a rating of 4.
Marine protected areas are used as a way of conserving the coastline. However, the focus is more on the economic part ignoring the social impact of marine protected areas on the community. I give a rating of 4 because there is a problem of not involving all genders in decision making. This research aims at improving the relationship between genders and how they all can be involved in the conservation decision making. The problem of gender bias in decision making is clearly defined. All stakeholders were not involved in the decision-making process when coming up with the conservation strategies. The problem of not involving all the stakeholders is clearly outlined in the research proposal, and it is a relevant problem that needs to be resolved. There has been a long-standing debate on the impact of culture on the social and economic well-being of individuals. The question of the impact of the cultural system is well-placed and can only be answered based on facts which the research aims to find out. The research proposal clearly defines the problem, and that is the reason I give a rating of 4 out of 5. The student has more room to improve especially in the technological age.
A2. Will the proposed research make a distinct contribution to existing knowledge on the issue?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being a small contribution and 5 being a very signficant contribution.
I give a rating of 4 out of 5.
The research proposal will make a distinct contribution to the existing knowledge of the coastline protection. The in-charge of environmental protection in marine protected areas can read and then report on conservation. The existing knowledge does not clearly state the impact of marine protected areas on the social, cultural well-being of the community. It would have been a rating of five only if the research was specifically introducing knowledge but they were building on an existing knowledge along the coastline that had informed the creating of marine protected areas.
B. QUALITY OF RESEARCH PROPOSAL
B1. Are the research objectives/questions clearly stated?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being poorly stated and 5 being extremely well-stated.
I would give the scholar a rating of 3.
Stating clearly the research objectives is important for any successful research work. The objectives of the research are stated but not in a clear way thus while going through the four objectives, there is lack of flow. For example, after stating the four objectives of the research clearly, the researcher goes ahead in the last paragraph to explain that the research aims at integrating the theoretical background from social and environmental sciences. This part should have been included as an objective on itself. The four objectives are clearly stated, and the researcher should not give explanations that appear to be a fifth objective in the last paragraph of the objective section.
B2. Is the proposed methodology appropriate to address the objectives/questions?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being not very appropriate and 5 being extremely appropriate.
I give a rating of 5.
The proposed methodology will help in addressing the research objectives in a clear and comprehensive manner. The researcher aims at using the mixed method approach design that will help him gather as much information from the community as possible. That way, he will be able to get a lot of raw information for use in relation to the objectives of the research. The research design adopted will enable data validation and thus improve the quality of research done and the conclusions made. The choice of the case study in Brazil will be great since it is one of the countries that have formulated policies on Maritime Protected Areas and thus the objectives of the research will be well addressed.
B3. Is the proposed research innovative?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being not very innovative and 5 being extremely innovative.
I give a rating of 2.
In as much as the research seeks to address the underlying issue of conservation and its impact on the community livelihoods and culture, it is not very innovative. These are issues that are there, and one can deduce that from generally looking at the impact of the policy even from other areas. The challenges faced are the same, and so the proposed objectives of the research are in the public domain thus the research will not be innovating new things. The question addressed in the research may be unique in Maritime Protected Areas, but it is not new at all.
B4. Is the proposed methodology feasible (has the researcher fully considered and accounted for relevant cultural, logistical, scientific or other constraints)?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being not very feasible and 5 being extremely feasible.
I give a rating of 4.
In as much as the researcher will face some challenges in his work, the proposed methodology is feasible and will help the researcher gather as much information as possible related to the area of interest for purposes of research. The choice of the case study in Brazil and the presentation of research objectives to the community stakeholders reduce challenges the researcher would experience on the ground thus making the whole research process feasible. The research method and the design chosen is feasible apart from the field challenges and will positively impact on the research work.
B5. Have all relevant ethical issues (human, animal, environmental) been considered and appropriately addressed?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being poorly considered and 5 being extremely well considered.
I give a rating of 5.
The researcher has considered the ethical issues and appropriately addressed them. He has committed to observing the research rules and guidelines in his research work. For this, the researcher has also committed to seeking approval from the relevant offices of his research work. It is only the main researcher who will be accessing the raw data thus chances of data leakage and use by an unauthorized person is minimal. Involvement of community leaders and other stakeholders will help in addressing their concern which the researcher has committed to do. It is my view that all the relevant ethical issues have been properly considered and addressed in the research proposal.
B6. Have all relevant gender dimensions been addressed?
Please rate from 1 to 5, with 1 being poorly addressed and 5 being extremely well addressed.
I give a rating of 3.
All gender dimensions have not been addressed by the researcher. However, he has committed to involve both genders in his research work and seek their views on the marine protected area policies and the impact on them. The female gender may not always be available all the time during the research period due to household chores. The researcher has not considered the impact gender roles will have on his research timing and responses. There are issues of gender discrimination too where women are not allowed to do something which men do. This gender discrimination might make women withhold some important information relevant to the research for fear of being judged as a rebel. The researcher has only given a general overview of how he will address the gender dimensions without going into details.
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