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A holistic approach to transdisciplinary research in post-conflict settings: Lessons from Liberia

Authors: Rebecca Witinok-Huber*, University of Idaho
Topics: Applied Geography, Gender, Africa
Keywords: transdisciplinary, post-conflict, participatory action research
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The context-specific and dynamic nature of community-based transdisciplinary research processes demand careful consideration of methodologies, partner and disciplinarily collaboration, power diffusion, and adaptability. The study process being explored was led by the lead author, including 5-months in Liberia, in 2018, and includes participatory action research approaches such as co-development of protocols and data collection instruments, participatory mapping, student training, and community entry through extension field staff. Using an adapted version of the Feminist Systems Thinking framework, results indicate that in complex, remote cross-cultural settings researchers must also prioritize: 1) self-care and safety, 2) adaptability, 3) attentiveness to accountability, inclusion, and contribution, and 4) build on existing knowledge and structures. Future transdisciplinary scientific and development research collaborations can use and further adapt the presented framework to increase project sustainability and equitability.

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