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Archive for April, 2017

Intense Indonesia

Ran a research workshop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia last week with colleagues from the University Atma Yogyakarta as part of a British Council project led by Prof Anne Gregory. The team are researching community engagement on renewable energy in rural communities. Fascinating work that has real importance for  developing countries and energy policy. It has also raised issues of cultural bias in research instruments, as villagers have been reluctant to sign ethics forms or speak up in focus groups because individual opinion is not part of collective decision making.

Luckily the UAJY team is creative and resourceful and have developed ethical, culturally sensitive approaches that will yield rich results.

My job was to focus on structuring the final report.  Again, realise that a formal report is a culturally specific product   – feels rather imperialist to force material into the traditional Exec Summary/Intro/Method/ Findings/Recommendations/Conclusions boxes. Then find myself describing this as a means of telling the story of the research and it makes sense. Reports are just another form of conversation after all.

We worked hard but had a really splendid few days of exchange and discovery – finding the common sense under the forms and formats, learning about each other’s ways of working. And Javanese food in particular – so many feasts of unfamiliar delight. My favourite was Javanese breakfast (a banquet of meat, rice and coconut) accompanied by gamelan concert (see pix). There were brief temple outings, but the heat floored me by mid morning so we retreated to a/c shopping.

The rest will have to wait till next time.

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