Blog

Friday, 24 March 2017 00:00

One step at a time - lessons from a PhD student

Written by
By Alex van der Meer It takes 15 seconds to read this first paragraph. Fifteen seconds to get an idea of what I am doing. If the idea interests you, you may stay longer. I’m doing a PhD at the Fenner School at ANU in collaboration with the ACIAR project, “Improving policies for forest plantations to balance smallholder, industry and environmental needs in Lao PDR and Vietnam”. I’m evaluating how the establishment of tree plantations affects the livelihoods of rural households in Laos. You still there? Anyway, in December last year, fueled with enthusiasm from receiving my ethics approval and…
Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

I don't love rice but I love rice research

Written by
My mate Amila was puzzled. I had just asked him if he ever gets sick of eating rice. I was certainly sick of it. I was halfway through a semester abroad in Sri Lanka and would have sold my soccer boots for a juicy steak. We sat in silence for a few minutes, riding the bus home to the student hostel. Eventually, Amila responded. "If I give up rice, what else do I eat?" Before undertaking my semester of study in Sri Lanka, I was fortunate enough to complete a three-week internship at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters…
Why is gender important? In smallholder research projects it is common to use “household typologies” to look at the impact of different interventions. The problem with this is that the household is treated as a single unit where the adults have equal control over resources (i.e. land, credit) and decision-making power and it is assumed that the impact of any change (positive or negative) is evenly distributed within the household. As a general rule, this isn’t the case! Therefore, instead of looking “at” households, researchers need to look “inside” them and engage with both men and women if they want…
By: Dr Lila Singh-Peterson, Research Fellow, USC Queensland I would like to take a few moments to explain why I think the role of social researchers in development projects is critically important. Firstly let me say that I am a social researcher, and I have been involved in ACIAR projects for the last few years, and in community development projects for far longer. In this blog (my first blog) I would like to reflect on my experiences co-developing a fruit project in Tonga. At this point in time, our multidisciplinary research team is working closely with in-country partners and communities to…
Thursday, 23 February 2017 00:00

Are we causing more harm than good?

Written by
Reflections and ethical dilemmas from 8 years in African agricultural development. Helping – that’s why we do what we do. It’s the name of the game in R4D. Especially as researchers, we promise to cause no harm to those we interact with and set out with best intentions, but are we unintentionally causing harm in the communities we work in? As a background, since undertaking undergrad work experience in western Tanzania in 2009, I’ve floated around in agricultural R4D, working as a graduate officer at ACIAR and on an AYAD with the FAO in Ghana. I’m now finishing up my…
Page 1 of 24