In a later post I will describe in detail the attributes of a legitimate socioeconomic study and assessment. For now I am proposing what I call (somewhat tongue-in-cheek)… the Falck-Zepeda law of legitimate socioeconomic studies and assessments:
“For any socioeconomic study and/or assessment to be legitimate and credible, it has to have a fair shot of having any outcome possible –positive, negative or neutral- AND follow strictly the standards of excellence for such assessments”
A legitimate study and/or assessment may thus contradict or even negate any or all position or positions held by one or all stakeholders in a debate, even those who will not be convinced by such study regardless of how good the study is or even if the body of evidence contradicts their position.
Those of us who are socioeconomic assessors –and thus may be classified as “experts”- have to maintain research independence and thus have to present results regardless of the outcome. We cannot yield on this aspect of our commitment to science and excellence.