Letters of introduction; letters of authorization

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Letters of introduction; letters of authorization

Post by Broccoli on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:36 am

TIP:

Use your supervisor's letter of introduction to try to obtain the more powerful and more critical letters of authorization from the relevant local authorities (let's call them "gate keepers" because they can determine whether you may get access to information, or not".

Here's a recent example of how to do this from Evelyn, who is currently in Northern Uganda:


"Today was a long day of running from one local authority to the other with your letter.
All turned out very well. I got a stamp and signature from the commissioner of the "Office of Resident District" (who forced bribing) and also I got a stamp and signature from the Officer at the Crime Investigation Department on your introduction letter. The whole situation is fine and calm now, and I have the permission to continue my research in the field."

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Letter of authorization

Post by Judith on Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:33 pm

Hi all,

Just a question concerning the letter of authorization, since this social research stuff is still very new to me. Do you need a letter of authorization before you can do any interviews anywhere? So for me, I want to do some interviews with political parties and NGOs, do I need a letter of authorization from some kind of government agency before I can try and arrange these interviews?

Thankx!


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Re: Letters of introduction; letters of authorization

Post by Cameroonian on Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:07 pm

Hi Judith,

I don't know how it is in Sierra Leone but I have no letter of authorization and don't need one. In the first two weeks of my stay we did however visit the head of police chief of the gendarme, along with other important government officials. it is really handy they know your face and when you need some help they can help you. of course it depends on your research how close you want to be with the government officials. in my case we just went by to visit one time and that was it. good luck with your research!
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Re: Letters of introduction; letters of authorization

Post by Broccoli on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:10 pm

It depends on (1) whether authorities ask you for a letter of introduction before you can start doing your research work; and (2) whether the person you want to interview want first to see a letter of introduction.

It is very context specific. If asked, provide a letter. If you are not asked, then you need not raise the issue (as raising it might open up a Pandora's box of problems for you).

I guess the principle you can follow here is: "if they don't ask, you don't tell." (as far as you can remain ethical, of course.)

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