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.

Children in the Streets: Activism and Representation in Dangerous Fields

Nelly Ali


When I was first approached to write a fieldnote on the dangers that present themselves while conducting academic research in the field, many stories from my two years of Ph.D. fieldwork with street girls in Cairo came to mind. I could have written about the time four men with swords raged through a shelter for street children to claim back an 11-year-old girl they were prostituting. Alternatively, I could have shared the horror of finding myself with no option but to cower over a disabled one-year-old girl whose teenage mother had just thrown her to the floor and was coming at her with a blade dripping in her own HIV-infected blood. The list ...

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