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.

Encounters at the Margins: Situating the Researcher Under Conditions of Aid

Swetha Rao Dhananka


In Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka’s rich career as a social anthropologist, 1979 marks the year of her first entry into the field. I was born in that year and I first entered the field a full three decades later – in 2009. Professor Pfaff-Czarnecka describes her first field experience in Nepal as exciting but challenging, primarily due to the mutual foreignness between her, as a white woman from Europe, and the village community in Nepal tucked away in the many folds of the Himalayas. My first encounter with my field in India was enmeshed with my identity as a child of Indian parents originally from the city of Bangalore who migrated and settled ...

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