Methodological Propositions for Global Challenges Research

Title of the project: Methodological Propositions for Global Challenges Research


Partners on the project:

Dr Mia Perry – University of Glasgow (PI)
Prof Jo Sharp – University of St Andrews (Co-I)
Dr Kevin Aanyu (Makerere University – Uganda)
Dr Brian Barrett (University of Glasgow- UK)
Beatrice Catanzaro (Oxford Brookes University ­- Italy)
Viviana Checchia (CCA – UK)
Vanessa Duclos (University of Glasgow – UK)
Prof Dan Haydon (University of Glasgow – UK)
Dr Heather McLean (University of Glasgow – UK)
Prof Oitshepile MmaB Modise (Botswana University – Botswana)
Maggie Ritchie (free-lance journalist – UK)
Prof Jude Robinson (University of Glasgow – UK)
Dr Zoë Strachan (University of Glasgow – UK)
Helen Todd (ArtGlo – Malawi)
Dr Shahaduz Zaman (University of Sussex – UK)
Dates: Jan – April 2019

Location: Scotland

Progress: Past


Project description: The CSPE (Communities of Science and Practice Engage) Network (now SFA Network) was established with the objective of investigating and mitigating the implementation gap in environmental initiatives between science-led initiatives and policy and community-based practice and conditions. Working across disciplines of education, cultural practice and arts, and environmental science, the network set out to develop new methodologies for collaborative, ground-up, research and development for ethical and sustainable socio-ecological development. The network was embraced widely and grew quickly in size and activity.

The GCRF aims to provide high quality development work by funding research questions co-produced by partners in the Global North and Global South which are driven by interdisciplinary and cross-sector research teams. Due to existing international and academic climates, these characteristics – of co-production and interdisciplinarity – are extremely complex and challenging practices to undertake successfully. An underlying objective across all of the SFA strands of work has been to explore and test decolonial, interdisciplinary, and community-integrated methodologies. The network has had a wide range of successes, insights, obstacles, and learning in this endeavour. To ensure the impact of this outcome, we proposed to develop a toolkit to help GCRF teams (and international, interdisciplinary research teams more broadly) with this fundamental challenge. Drawing on the learning, challenges, and examples of best practice from the SFA, we proposed to bring together a small but diverse group of researchers to produce a practical but critical guide to collaborative partnerships in development-related research.

The toolkit was produced at a writing workshop to facilitate dedicated time to share experiences and ensure a cohesive and timely output. Together we worked on a theoretically grounded resource with a focus on practice, using exemplar case-studies to contextualise the terrain. It is an open-access document to be made available to GCRF applicants, as well as more widely to research and development workers in international interdisciplinary partnerships.

Outcomes and outputs:

This collaborative writing process represented a training opportunity for those involved and the success of the initiative will be indicated by the development of new impactful research projects by participants from both the UK and LMIC.

This project had direct and quick positive impacts on our LMIC partners. Immediately the capacity strengthening, and articulation of best practices have supported the practices of the authorship of the resource and their immediate colleagues, students, and networks.

Impact on the wider research community has yet to be assessed, as the booklet is still un-published (final edits being currently made).