Thursday, 23 February 2017 00:00

Are we causing more harm than good?

Written by brendan brown
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…
Friday, 17 February 2017 00:00

Swapping sides

Written by David
By Dave Shearer I worked with ACIAR for 10 years, doing some really interesting stuff in the early days of the agribusiness program and in the corporate turmoil as the aid budget ebbed and flowed in various policy spaces. In my early days, Minister Downer's foreign policy and aid integration set the scene that was very focused on economic development. This was excellent timing to align with ACIAR's commitment to the agribusiness program. We then moved through the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework (CAPF) and at the end of my time with ACIAR we came out the other end with Foreign Minister Bishop's focus on…
Friday, 10 February 2017 00:00

The power of Language “To Pasa Lao, or not to Pasa Lao, that is the question”

Written by Madaline healey
English is the predominant language of science. For me it’s my first language but for many of my colleagues it is their second or third language. So, I ask myself, when working overseas, is it best to speak local or to speak English? When I volunteered in Laos, I was determined to learn the language so I could chat with my friends and colleagues, with tuk tuk drivers, watermelon farmers and, when needed, shout at the stray dogs in a language they understand. However, the more I’ve worked with people in places like Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, I’ve realised…
Friday, 03 February 2017 00:00

RAID without the R

Written by Rebecca McBride
The experience of working in agricultural research for development taught me some valuable lessons that I’ve recently found myself applying to work in the Solomon Islands.  I have been a RAID member from the beginning with a strong interest in agriculture, development and the role of young researchers, but now I’m a RAIDer without the R, working in the straight development space. I recently started working with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the plant biosecurity area.  And so far so good. Sure I have had to learn the lingo (biosecurity continuum is a favourite) and…
Friday, 27 January 2017 00:00

Get on-board with students in projects!

Written by Jenny Hanks
By David McGill & Jenny Hanks Having students, whether they be undergrad/postgrad/local/international/short-term/long-term, engaged in your R4D project opens up great possibilities for innovation, engagement, stirring up  some passion and in many cases, a whole lot of fun! My first real experience working with students on a project occurred on the back of a random thought bubble I had driving around in Pakistan. I was having trouble collating and synthesising some basic training material and decided that a little bit of help from Australian based students would be a great way to work on multiple modules simultaneously. I took the idea…