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Knowledge, democracy and action

Community–university research partnerships in global perspectives

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Edited by: Budd L. Hall, Edward T. Jackson, Rajesh Tandon, Jean-Marc Fontan and Nirmala Lall

This book is based on a three-year international comparative study on poverty reduction and sustainability strategies . It provides evidence from twenty case studies around the world on the power and potential of community and higher education based scholars and activists working together in the co-creation of transformative knowledge. Opening with a theoretical overview of knowledge, democracy and action, the book is followed by analytical chapters providing lessons learned and capacity building, and on the theory and practice of community university research partnerships. It also includes lessons on models of evaluation, approaches to measuring the impact and an agenda for future research and policy recommendations. The book overviews the concept of engaged scholarship and then moves to focus on community-university research partnerships. It is based on a global empirical study of the role of community-university research partnerships within the context of poverty alleviation, the creation of sustainable societies and, broadly speaking, the Millennium Development Goals. The book frames the contribution of community-university research partnerships within a larger knowledge democracy framework, linking this practice to other spaces of knowledge democracy. These include the open access movement, new acceptance of the methods of community-based and participatory research and the call for cognitive justice or the need for epistemologies of the Global South. It takes a particular look at the variety of structures that have been created in the various universities and civil society research organizations to facilitate and enhance research partnerships.

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Felix M. Bivens

The Interdisciplinary Programme on Human Development was launched in 1995. The work of the Human Development programme is structured along four axes: health, nutrition and quality of life; technology, production and environment; cultural processes of learning and human rights; social strategies, public policies and power relations. Academically, the Human Development group works with a variety of students from undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes. Many students at all levels are drawn to Chiapas because of the notoriety of the Zapatista movement. The primary academic course facilitated by the Human Development programme is the two-year MA in rural development. Students who stay in the programme for one year receive a diploma in rural development. Some students are awarded funding to continue their research even further so that they may complete a doctorate with the Human Development programme.

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Felix M. Bivens

This chapter lays out briefly how the work of the Citizenship Development Research Consortium (CDRC) is impacting university curricula and pedagogy across a global selection of higher education institutions (HEIs). The CDRC formed a teaching and learning group which has been experimenting with various ways in which citizenship can be taught within a formal university curricula and a traditional classroom setting. Not all members of the CRDC are university researchers. The Indian non-governmental organization (NGO) in Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) has been one of the core institutional members of the group. PRIA has been an influential pioneer in participatory action research (PAR) and community-based research (CBR) in the global South. PRIA has designed a two-year MA in participatory development which includes a year of intensive coursework and a year of PAR fieldwork.

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Norbert Steinhaus

In Romania, most environmental problems, including deterioration of water source quality, have their origin in intensive industrialization and development of agriculture. The science shop used the report to promote science shop activities as an example of student participation, and also to raise public awareness about the quality of drinking water in Iasi. Iasi underwent a rapid industrialization and population growth. Prior to the beginning of this project, no correlations had been made between the quality of water sources, the water treatment at the Water Works Company and the opinions and expectations of the residents. As the project was conducted through a Romanian science shop, all costs were supported from the MATRA Social Transformation Programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided seed funding to the science shops.

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Jean-Marc Fontan and Denis Bussière

This chapter seeks to define partnership research. It focuses on evaluation of the partnership research process, an undertaking distinguished from analysis of the larger process in which partnership research takes place. Finally, a partnership research evaluation model, based on the partnership research model developed by the Alliance de recherche universites-communautes en economie sociale (ARUC-ES) and the Reseau quebecois de recherche partenariale en economie sociale (RQRP-ES), was proposed. Partnership research is defined by three essential steps or phases: the co-definition of research goals; the co-implementation of the research project; and the mobilization of the resulting knowledge. Primarily, the partnership research evaluation model is targeted at the participants in partnership research, to give them tools with which to reflect on their partnership research experience and identify areas for improvement.

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Joy Molina Mirasol, Felix S. Mirasol, Estela C. Itaas Jr. and Benjamin Maputi

The forest land in the province of Bukidnon, Philippines, is continuously declining in terms of its economic and environmental capacity. Acosta called on the government and challenged the academy and other agencies to be more aggressive about measuring the efficacy of government programmes and policies on a range of environmental concerns. Collaborative efforts among the academy, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local government units (LGUs) have to be pursued to achieve good environmental management in local governance, economic growth and to prevent further damage to environment and natural resources. Bukidnon State University (BSU) Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG) was established to carry out programmes aimed at providing the needed capacity for local executives and local policymakers to better perform their mandate as provided under the Local Government Code.

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Embedding community–university partnerships

Science shops and policy development

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Eileen Martin, Emma McKenna, Henk Mulder and Norbert Steinhaus

This chapter considers the role of science shops in helping to develop policy to support community engagement within universities, both at the European level and at the country level. It discusses lessons learned by science shops in embedding community-university partnerships in policy, with a view to enhancing their sustainability. A science shop provides independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society. Science shop practitioners recognized the potential links between their work, which aimed to democratize science with the wider European Commission (EC) Science and Society agenda. Attempts have been made by science shops in different countries to either capitalize on current public and institutional policy where it exists or to create a policy context where it does not exist. EC support has also enabled some science shops to make stronger arguments for support at national and local levels.

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Curricular and pedagogical impacts of community-based research

Experiences from higher education institutions

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Felix M. Bivens

This chapter examines the extent to which community-based research (CBR) programmes at four higher education institutions (HEIs) have impacted the curriculum and pedagogies of the institutions themselves. It provides a review of these four programmes, supplying some background on the CBR programmes and their evolution, and detailing some areas where the growth of these programmes has had an impact on aspects of the institution's curricula and/or pedagogy. The four programmes are: the Master's in Participation (MAP) at the UK's Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the Community University Partnership Programme at the University of Brighton (CUPP). It also includes the outreach programme at Sewanee, University of the South (US), and the Programa de Investigacion Interdisciplinario Desrarrollo Humano en Chiapas (Interdisciplinary Research Programme on Human Development in Chiapas) at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico.

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Jorge Téllez Carrasco and José Blanes Jiménez

In the Chiquitania region of Bolivia, precious woods are products of high value that can be acquired from communities through local intermediaries at very low prices. Timber buyers acquire timber from people and communities through a system of loans and exchanges that often disadvantage small producers In 2003, the governments of Bolivia and Spain agreed to undertake a forestry development project in the Chiquitania region. The Chiquitania Forestry development project was undertaken within the VII Joint Hispano-Bolivian Cooperation Commission. In Bolivia, the Forestry Law gives municipalities responsibility for promoting local forestry development activities. The project involved a wide range of participants. To facilitate the adoption of a research-action approach, project coordination was undertaken by a Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios (CEBEM) researcher. This facilitated the establishment of strategies for monitoring social interaction, support and methodological design.

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José Blanes Jiménez and Edgar Antonio Pabón

Under the coordination of Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios (CEBEM), support for municipal management of indigenous communities was chosen as a key project objective in Bolivia. CEBEM signed a cooperation agreement with the Municipality of Jesus de Machaca to develop a research project, together with the indigenous authorities, to strengthen institutions and spread their experiences. Although the European Union (EU) project has ended, a series of activities continue in the shape of collaboration between CEBEM and the municipality with the aim of identifying steps for collaboration, investments, webpage development and intercultural dialogues through the Intercultural Relations Platform. EU-funded project was approved by the indigenous peoples, peasants and Aboriginals of three countries: Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The general objective of the project was to build capacity for territorial management on the part of the authorities and their organizations.