Power dynamics with researchers on the ground needs a reset

(14-01-2021) Now blog post by An Ansoms, Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka (CRG), Emery Mushagalusa Mudinga, Godefroid Muzalia & Koen Vlassenroot (CRG)

Many researchers from the global North (Europe and North America) who do fieldwork in the global South engage research assistants and associates in the geographical field of research. At best, their contribution is mentioned in a footnote of the articles or reports. At worst, they are kept invisible. Yet these contributors are key actors in the research process. They forge access to difficult zones and find people to take part in research efforts. They are important in the collection of data, production of research reports and dissemination of results. Eventually, they help to orient, shape and produce knowledge. Research shows that their role is seldom made visible in research outputs. In addition, they aren’t invited to be part of the research design process. And their role isn’t recognised in the institutional field of research, which is guided by publishing records. 

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