Challenges in µspeaking to power¶ ± should research make recommendations?

Remember for you are a researcher first ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Not a consultant Not a social worker Not a politician Not a journalist ‡ Your primary task is to describe actual change processes accurately and explain why they are as they are. .

It is these articulations that are heard and listened to¶ (Mosse. we should avoid unwarranted assumptions about the accountability of publicly processed information. are µwho are you..Setting the scene ‡ µOne challenge inherent in applied research is transforming a practitioner¶s problem into a researchable problem¶ (White. 1994: 509) ‡ µArdener proposed that in any society there are dominant modes of expression generated by a dominant structure.. presented themselves as µcommunity leaders¶ to outsiders . the traditional tribal leader or patel.. 1994: 514) ‡ µThe questions uppermost in villagers¶ minds . who .. 1994: 505) .. 1994: 508) ‡ µwhat Pierre Bourdieu calls µofficializing strategies¶ whereby the particular interests of key sections of the community (sic?) become identified with the general interest. 1994: 504) ‡ µThese leaders.¶ (Mosse. and what is your interest in us?.¶ (Mosse. µ (Mosse.¶ (Mosse. 2009: 30) ‡ µwhere critical debate in public is not an established convention. in fact wielded less influence within the community than a second type of leader..

. ‡ µIndependent¶ research with a Marxian worldview saw little prospect of State-led development. ‡ The poorest twenty percent were absolutely very poor.NEPAL IN THE 1970s ‡ All the global indicators suggested an economy in which about half the population were in absolute poverty (not much difference now but depends on which survey is used). ‡ Direct observations suggested many people saw themselves in the middle of a µcivil society¶ in which they have a secure cultural place. Improvement was seen as depending on µmiddle¶ groups eventually challenging a heavily aided. non-developmental State ± happened relatively peacefully in 1990. insufficient food for a preferred Nepalese diet. ‡ Any political radicals faced µcat and mouse¶ censorship and repression.

g. ‡ But the big challenge was convincing people that ethnic cultural difference was not the fundamental division in society ± opportunistically used by elite politicians from both ethnic groups to block deliberation on social justice.FIJI IN THE 1980s ‡ The global indicators suggested a middle income economy with very little absolute poverty that had used a post-colonial independence ³honeymoon´ well. . ‡ The rise and fall of the Fiji Labour Party and the role of external interests in political de-stabilisation ± and still the coups go on in a society going nowhere. removing poverty through a tax financed welfare programme. ‡ Regular multi-party elections were fairly competed and a local mass media was accessible to challenging ideas. developmental State model. ‡ But EU funded research could speak to power ± e. A sovereign. ‡ There were less than ten percent of the population in deep relative deprivation who could be easily raised above a µgenerously¶ contextualised poverty line.

Conclusion: µenabling people to help themselves¶. . but has done little in reducing inequality or poverty. productivity and incomes. hinting at political instability as the alternative.PAKISTAN IN THE 1990s ‡ The global indicators suggest a large number of the world¶s poor were in Pakistan. ‡ The society is also highly gendered to the acute disadvantage of women. ‡ µLogical positivist¶ primarily quantitative research for a UN agency predicted an unsustainable economy ten years ahead. leaving them highly vulnerable to environmental and socioeconomic shocks. Using a livelihoods framework. ‡ The State is highly militarised (even when under nominal civilian rule) and is easily distracted from developmental activities by high stake games in the global political order ‡ Male private sector employment in some globalised industries plus large-scale international migration was very important in increasing incomes in some areas of the country. there seemed to be high underemployment in terms of time.

. ‡ Government funded research sought to improve UAE nationals employment in a culturally sensitive fashion. Seen through a µresource curse¶ lens. the prospects for radical change were seen as very limited. ‡ The private sector macro-labour market appears to be global in that it includes people from many countries (98% of the private sector workforce).UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AT THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM ‡ Since the structural transformation of the global oil market in the 1970s. the United Arab Emirates had undergone massive changes. ‡ The UAE government had political fears of loss of authority and was moving towards increased restrictive regulation to improve the ³quality´ of its labour force and create openings for nationals in the private sector. notably in the creation of an µapparently¶ globalised labour force drawn from all over the world. ineffective authoritarianism as the most likely government response. This was a factor in UAE nationals having little access to private sector employment with a risk of µcultural¶ disaffection. ‡ The formal/legal and non-formal/illegal labour market frontier was shifting and demands for representation by µforeign¶ labour were increasing. but de facto it is segmented in that most workplaces are national or even more local micro-labour markets.

dependency on µaid¶. no legal redress for mental and physical abuse. detention without trial with consequences for gender and inter-generational relationships. and absence of collective freedom. Human rights worldview of a well intentioned µsticking plaster¶. loss of productive assets. . ‡ Over fifty years for many people being labelled as refugees being fed by the UN system. ‡ Day to day deprivation of human rights ± basic mobility restrictions. ‡ Poverty as insecurity in day to day life.PALESTINE NOW ‡ A society that thinks middle income (judged by incomes among the diaspora) but many people have lost virtually all their local livelihoods. ‡ World Bank financed impact evaluation (µresearch¶?) of a NGO sectoral support project.

others accept mobility as a precaution in case of further violence. Real risks of further violence internally in the south plus full military conflict with the north. ³fuzzily´ gendered though women are structurally more vulnerable (despite increasing bride prices). ‡ A government starting from virtually zero technical skills. ‡ All people met at village level live materially very simply but many with strong local cultural systems (are they in poverty?) ± some culturally value high local mobility. ‡ A relatively egalitarian society in material terms. ‡ Research for an INGO into local rural development interventions found a mixed performance ± challenges of moving from an µemergency¶ relief to a µdevelopmental¶ mindset. . ‡ A sense of improvement and potential for environmentally and culturally sustainable further development locally. no international developmental indicators. but large oil revenues.SOUTH SUDAN NOW ‡ Emerging from twenty years of civil war (weapons widely available). though perhaps over-optimistic about the long term returns from formal education. Telling a story rather than making recommendations.

Choices in µspeaking to power¶/¶speaking to truth¶? 1. United Arab Emirates ± a vulnerable State and questioning growing authoritarianism 5. Pakistan ± a developmentally µfailing¶ State and a conditional warning about the long term future 4. deliberative processes . Palestine ± a µnon-State¶ and recording injustice 6. Fiji ± a developmental State and poverty reduction recommendations 3. Nepal ± radical pessimism and waiting for a revolution 2. South Sudan ± a µnon-State¶ and improving very local participatory.

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