For experienced and inexperienced researchers and practitioners alike, this engaging book opens up new perspectives on conducting fieldwork in the Global South. Following an inter–disciplinary and inter-generational approach, Understanding Global Development brings into dialogue reflections on fieldwork experiences by leading scholars along with accounts from early career researchers. Contributions are organised around six key issues: • Meaningful participation in fieldwork • Working in dangerous environments • Gendered experiences of fieldwork • Researching elites • Conducting fieldwork with marginalised people • Fieldwork in development practice. The experience–led discussion of each of the topics conveys a sense of what it actually feels like to be out in the field and provides readers with useful insights and practical advice. A relational framework highlights issues relating to power, identity and ethics in development fieldwork, and encourages reflection on how researcher engagement with the field shapes our understanding of global development.
Danger in the Field
[Page 154]Section V: Introduction
Fieldwork in development contexts can imply working in difficult or even dangerous environments. War and social unrest, human rights abuses, humanitarian catastrophes and epidemics – the list is long. Undertaking fieldwork in threatening places poses substantial challenges to researchers as well as to research assistants, participants and to the communities where research takes place. In this section, researchers bring into dialogue their experiences of conducting fieldwork in a variety of dangerous environments. They examine the reasons for undertaking this type of research, and outline the practical difficulties associated with working ‘under threat’. They explore the different tactics they have developed and employed to mitigate risks in the field, and raise a number of questions about the ethics ...