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Conducting Fieldwork in Development Contexts: Reflexive Approaches to Practical Issues

RiDNet Annual Conferences
Thursday 27 September 2012, 9:00 - 17:30 followed by drinks reception
Room 8.119, School of Earth and Environment

Inaugural Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) Conference

The Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) identified a need for active and intensive engagement with fieldwork preparation and reflection among PhD and early career researchers. In response to this the first RiDNet conference ‘Conducting Fieldwork in Development Contexts: Reflexive Approaches to Practical Issues’ was held on 27 September at the University of Leeds. At the conference PhD and early career researchers from across the United Kingdom came together to discuss and share fieldwork challenges, experiences, and best practices.

During the conference PhD and early career researchers presented on the following themes: What (not) to say: Communication skills & field access; Silenced voices: Opening up new perspectives on development; Hot potatoes and hushed voices: Difficult research environments & sensitive topics; and, Taking sides: Dealing with third parties.

In addition, keynote addresses were made by: Professor Jean B. Grugel, University of Sheffield; Dr. Caroline Dyer, University of Leeds; Professor Paul Sillitoe, Durham University; and Professor Michael Parnwell, University of Leeds.

The conference was made possible by the generous contributions of the following institutions/ centres at the University of Leeds: LEAP Training Hub; Centre for Global Development; Institute of Communications Studies; Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy; Sustainability Research Institute; and Leeds Social Sciences Institute.

Practical Fieldwork Notes

Each presenter was asked to develop a practical fieldwork note, identifying a practical issue when conducting fieldwork in development contexts, and possible solutions. The research notes are meant to be used as a resource for researchers working in low to middle income country contexts. The research notes can be found below.

RiDNet Practical Fieldwork Notes