Strategies for research for trade, industry and social justice in Asia, Australasia and the Pacific

DATE: Thursday, May 14
VENUE: UTS Blackfriars Campus, Blackfriars Street, Bldg. CC05, Chippendale map
TIME: 10am – 4pm
COST: Free event

This workshop will bring together academic and independent community-engaged researchers working in the Asia-Pacific region. They will discuss their views of effective strategies for strengthening research into the impact of globalised trade and industry on local and Indigenous peoples in the Asia-Pacific region.
Extensions of globalised trade in key industries like mining, tourism (including ‘nature’ eco-tourism). timber, fishing and agriculture have brought both damage and opportunity to local and Indigenous peoples. Each of these trade and industry chains penetrated into areas where local and Indigenous populations have been seeking to sustain more localised industries but at the same time to engage profitably in and with the new global industries. The current global financial crisis is likely to impact in both negative and positive terms on local and Indigenous communities.
In each case, whether of the expansion or the contraction of globalised industry and trade, the interests of local and Indigenous communities are often forgotten in the attention given to transnational cooperations along with national and international peak organisational decisions. An important driver of innovations in local and community engagement with industry and trade has been research which can draw on international scholarly best practice but which is responsive to local interests through locally-based organisations and local NGOs. Much of this work has been carried out by researchers working within or closely with locally-based NGOs or those NGOs with close engagements with local organisations.

This project will invite speakers from key groups involved in research – those in NGOs, in government agencies and in universities, to reflect on three questions:

  • How do you or does your organisation undertake research in engagement with communities?
  • How is useful research best conducted in a community setting?
  • What conditions and approaches work most effectively to build collaborations between researchers and communities?


Session 1: Doing community research
10.00: Opening by Lesley Farrell, Associate Dean Research and Development
10.05: Heather Goodall: Workshop aims
10.20: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, ANU: NGO research on community mining in India
10.50: Amalia Fawcett, PLAN Australia & Australian Council for Independent Development: Developing NGO research strategies
11.25: Kyungja Jung, UTS: Women, research and activism in Korea and Australia
12.00: Tim Anderson: Research on PNG and East Timor

Discussant: Ken Davis, APHEDA: Vietnam, research and activism

12.30: Lunch provided

Session 2: Development, Conservation and Indigenous Communities
2.00: Kanchi Kohli, Kalpavriksh: A research agenda on environment and activism
2.30: Felicity Wade, Wilderness Society: Community collaborations in Australia
2.50: Caroline Ford, DECC: Community-agency research strategies
3.10: Vanessa Cavanagh, DECC: Indigenous perspectives on conservation research
3.30: Lisa Anderson, UTS Shopfront: Community-academic partnerships

Michael Adams, University of Wollongong
Heidi Norman, UTS: Community-academic research collaborations

Kanchi Kohli from Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group, Delhi, is currently the visiting Researcher in Residence at the Transforming Cultures Research Centre at UTS in April and May 2009.
As researcher and activist with Kalpavriksh for a decade, Kanchi has monitored the conflicts around forest conservation and the rights of Indigenous and local populations. She is the author of a study on the implementation of India’s biodiversity act and writes widely for the Indian press.

Inquiries: Heather Goodall

The Research and Communities Workshop is kindly funded by the APFRN.

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