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Accepted Paper:

Retrospective reflections on my PhD research and thoughts on decolonising fire research  
Teresa Weimer (University of Sheffield (formerly))

Paper short abstract:

A reflection on my methodology in the context of decolonisation of fire research of my PhD, whether it satisfies aspects of decolonised research or not. And how using mixed methods might be useful in decolonised research practice.

Paper long abstract:

Having completed my PhD thesis entitled Relationships Between Fire and Protected Areas: A Mixed Methods Approach for Mozambique I reflect on my methodology in the context of decolonisation of fire research. I used mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) to examine the effects of some physical and human drivers on the occurrence of burned areas due to wildfires in the context of Mozambique, with particular consideration of protected areas. For the qualitative data collection, Grounded Theory data collection in and around Gorongosa National Park worked well and satisfies aspects of critical reflexivity. Having a cultural insider for and to having lived and worked in Mozambique for many years was extremely helpful in embracing ‘Other(ed)’ ways of knowing. Reciprocity and respect for self-determination was much harder to achieve interviewing community members and possibly due to barriers as well as my association with the park administration, given limited time and resource constraints. As well as a deteriorating political situation and Covid-19 making returning unfeasible. Integrated quantitative methods with social science approaches to link research ‘to the ground’ for relevance and context and to be able to translate and make research and results usable, for example, to develop strategies for fire management and policy. I argue that using mixed methods also allows for a better embodying of a transformative praxis. The qualitative component addressing the questions the community wants to explore and values, and the quantitative aspects providing some of the services and capabilities the researcher may offer.

Panel P70
Decolonising Wildfire Research and Challenging its Colonial Legacies
  Session 1 Friday 30 June, 2023, -