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.

Development in Theory and Practice

Section VI: Introduction

Development fieldwork is conducted in different contexts and for a variety of purposes, with academic research just being one of them. Researchers engage with development organisations in a variety of ways: they design and evaluate development interventions, work as interpreters and consultants, provide training for academics and practitioners, and contribute to development interventions on the ground. This section explores the role of fieldwork in both development research and development practice, exploring how different contexts give rise to distinct relationships in the field, and discussing how issues of positioning, influence and power (or the lack of thereof) may present themselves in distinct ways when conducting fieldwork for different purposes.

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