Prof. Henry Bwisa noticed a pattern among his graduate students: most of them had difficulty crafting a cogent statement of the problem for their research projects. As a result, the professor of entrepreneurship at the College of Human Resource Development developed a four-step guideline on how to write a statement of problem and posted it on his website.
What followed was a sweet surprise to the don. Soon after the post went live, comments started streaming in from as far as United States, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and South Africa. What he thought was a Kenyan phenomenon manifested a global characterization at the touch of a button.
“I have tried to do my problem statement several times but it does not seem to win,’ a respondent wrote.
“I came across your explanation through internet. I can now arrange my work both systematically and logically,” quipped another.
Hello Prof. Henry, I just read your review about how to write the statement of problem in a research. It was perfect, just what I have been searching. Thanks sir,” added a third respondent
While majority of the respondents thanked Prof. Bwisa for sharing his insights, a few requested him to supervise them; either at masters or PhD level.
Susan Morin, a senior Instructional Designer at Capella University, United States of America even requested to make the material electronically available to learners on their online course.
Prof. Bwisa uses an narrative format to guide students towards coming up with a proper statement of the problem and identifies four key characteristics: Address a gap; be significant enough to contribute to the existing body of research; be one that will lead to more research; render itself to be investigated via collection of data; be interesting to the researcher and suit his/her skills, time and resources and be ethical.
But wait, there is more. The don explains what sets apart his approach for the rest. Since it does not target one level of study or even a given profession, it is universally understood and carrying commensurate utility.
“Whether you are a student, academician or a policy maker, this approach will fit your purpose, hence its widespread adoption,” concludes Prof. Bwisa.