Inequalities in global research collaborations: how can we build research partnerships that disrupt and transform unequal power dynamics? (Roundtable/Workshop)

Hilary Cornish (Christian Aid)
Kate Newman (Christian Aid)
I: Rethinking development and development research
Start time:
28 June, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Collaborations between academics, local and international NGOs are incentivized by funds like the GCRF. Whilst collaborative research has the potential to amplify marginalised voices there are inequalities already embedded in the dynamics of partnerships. How do we understand and transform them?

Long abstract:

There is a pressing need to explore the dynamics of knowledge generation and (in)equalities in research partnerships as collaborations are increasingly incentivized through funding like the Global Challenges Research Fund. Where development research is conducted in collaborations - between international or locally operating NGOs, academic institutions, and participants - the dynamics of the partnerships are often already set. Yet these dynamics may reflect, or reinforce unequal power and hierarchies in the production of knowledge (at global, regional, national and local levels). Actors in collaborations take on particular roles in the process, influencing the research in different ways. Can this be a positive recognition of the different specializations of actors, or to what extent does it entrench inequality in knowledge production? Research can be an opportunity to amplify marginalised voices, but failure to tackle inequalities in the research process itself, from funding bids to data collection and analysis, can lead to further marginalization. This panel and workshop will explore these issues, from a practice oriented perspective. The problems of inequalities in research are relatively well known - but as we work in collaboration how can we acknowledge and disrupt them to support transformative research? The session will begin by hosting a critical conversation between panellists engaged in global research. This will lead into an interactive workshop using participatory tools to encourage group reflection on the panellists and other participants experiences of research collaborations, creating a structured process of analysis and critical engagement with the themes of (in)equality, participation and the politics of evidence.