They are qualified, experienced, motivated, academically accomplished. They work tirelessly, collecting invaluable data in the field under conditions that are always challenging, and at times dangerous. And yet, their voices are unheard, and their names go unacknowledged in published research... Lire la suite
They are qualified, experienced, motivated, academically accomplished. They work tirelessly, collecting invaluable data in the field under conditions that are always challenging, and at times dangerous. And yet, their voices are unheard, and their names go unacknowledged in published research.
Such is the lot of far too many research assistants from the Global South – people upon whose work an entire industry of knowledge production has been built. They are shut out of discussions on project design and left in the dark about the modalities of research funding. Later, the results of their research are published in journals to which they often have no access.
Much of this is due to a certain omertà surrounding power imbalances, as well as research assistants' working conditions, financial difficulties, psychological traumas, and vulnerabilities. It also stems from the persistence of colonial mentalities in the research world – within universities, governments, foundations, aid institutions, and NGO’s.
The Bukavu Series is a vibrant blog series about the experiences of research assistants in the Global South. Driven primarily by these silent voices, the series yields a mosaic depiction of fieldwork that mixes humor, realism, and incisive critique. This book offers a unique entry point into a critical debate, leading us toward concrete reforms, and setting us on the course toward a decolonisation of research.
Invisible Voices in the Production of Knowledge
Koen Vlassenroot, Emery Mudinga, Godefroid Muzalia, Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka and An Ansoms
16 "Hold On, We're Still Thinking It Through." When Will We Get a Report on Your Findings?
20 Waiting for the Morning Birds: Researcher Trauma in Insecure Environments
Précieux Thamani Mwaka
23 Lost in Translation? Managing Cultural Differences in the Face of Risk in the Field
Dieudonné Bahati Shamamba
27 The Challenges Faced by Female Researchers in Conflict Settings
31 Escaping Big Brother's Gaze in Research in the Global South
Joël Baraka Akilimali
34 The "Researcher-Glutton": Data Collection in Insecure Settings in the Global South
Espoir Bisimwa Bulangalire
38 “They Stole His Brain”: The Local Researcher – Data Collector or Bona Fide Researcher?
Stanislas Bisimwa Baganda
42 Remunerating Researchers from the Global South: A Source of Academic Prostitution?
Élisée Cirhuza Balolage
46 When the Backpack is Full: The Omertà Surrounding the Psychological Burdens of Academic Research
50 The NGO-isation of Academic Research
Pierre Basimise Ngalishi Kanyegere
53 When You Become Pombe Yangu (“My Beer”): Dealing with the Financial Expectations of Research Participants
Jérémie Mapatano Byakumbwa
57 “These Phantom Researchers”: What about Their Visibility in Academic Publications?
Bienvenu Mukungilwa Wakusomba
60 Reliable Data? The Pressure to Deliver Versus the Complexities of the Field
Esther Kadetwa Kayanga
63 Work Without Pay? A Critical Look at the Contracts and Experiences of Local Researchers in the DRC
Élisée Cirhuza Balolage, Irène Bahati, Précieux Thamani Mwaka and An Ansoms
66 “A Research Assistant is Not Just an Implementer”: The Argument in Favour of Involving Local Researchers
in Project Design
Vedaste Cituli Alinirhu
70 Epistemological Rupture, Detachment, and Decentring: Requirements When Doing Research “At Home”
73 Between Passion and Precarity: The Work of a Researcher in the DRC
Alice Mugoli Nalunva
76 Navigating in Armed Conflict Zones
80 Surviving Intimidation: When Having Your Research Challenged Uproots Your Life as a Researcher
84 “Come back later.” – “On what day?” – “Just, come back!”
87 Research or Adventure? The Experiences of Research Assistants
François-Merlan Zaluke Banywesize
90 “Donor-Researchers” and “Recipient-Researchers”: Bridging the Gap between Researchers from the Global North
and Global South
93 In the Presence of “White Skin”: The Challenges of Expectations upon Encountering White Researchers
Élisée Cirhuza Balolage and Esther Kadetwa Kayanga
96 When the Room is Laughing: From Female Researcher to Prostitute Researcher
An Ansoms and Irene Bahati
100 “Give Me Back My Words”: Reflections on a Forgotten Aspect of Participant Follow-up
Isaac Bubala Wilondja
103 Taken Out of the Picture? The Researcher from the Global South and the Fight against “Academic Neocolonialism”
Élisée Cirhuza Balolage
106 He’s Hiding under His Hat! Collecting Data in Disguise
Précieux Thamani Mwaka, Stanislas Bisimwa Baganda and An Ansoms
111 When an Armed Guide is Imposed on You: Navigating Research in a Conflict Zone
Eric Batumike Banyanga
113 The Egocentricity of Field Ethics: Questioning Otherness, Decency, and Responsibility
116 Umoja ni nguvu (“unity is strength”): Towards More Equitable Collaborative Research
Josaphat Musamba and Christoph Vogel
120 “Businessisation of Research” and Dominocentric Logics: Competition for Opportunities in Collaborative Research
124 We Barely Know These Researchers from the South! Reflections on Problematic Assumptions about Local Research Collaborators
128 Can Collaborative Research Projects Reverse the Dominance of Externally Imposed Narratives on Violence and Conflict?
132 Can Silent Voices Speak? When Power Relationships Govern the Conditions of Expression
Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka
136 Epilogue Facilitating the “Bukavu Series”: A Process of Critical Self-reflection
An Ansoms, Emery Mudinga, Godefroid Muzalia, Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka and Koen Vlassenroot