Indispensable to the research practice carried out by so-called “contracting researchers,” who are often based in the Global North, “facilitating researchers,” often based in those conflict-affected areas of the Global South that contracting researchers are contracted to study, are usually the ones who truly regulate the access and flow of knowledge. Yet as often as not, they are referred to merely as ‘fixers’, with their contributions systematically erased in final research texts.
Facilitating Researchers in Insecure Zones brings together first-hand accounts by several facilitating or “brokering” researchers in three settings afflicted by armed conflict–namely, DR Congo, Sierra Leone and Jharkhand, India–in order to highlight the varied and crucial roles they play. In so doing, this volume also bears witness to the insecurities and resource-scarcities they have to navigate in order to facilitate the research of others. Ultimately, their experiences and insights point to more equitable fieldwork and more collaborative processes of knowledge production.
For its first-hand accounts of fieldwork in insecure zones, as well as for its diverse geographical and topical coverage, this book is a must-read for researchers and students researching interested in ethnographic and fieldwork methods and ethics, particularly as they apply to conflicts and to research in the Global South.