DSA Scotland Study Group conference on ‘Decolonising research: challenges and barriers’
The Development Studies Association Scotland Study Group met in July, the first time since the Covid-19 restrictions. 28 participants assembled at Glasgow University’s new Advanced Research Centre.
The programme for the day’s proceedings included a focus on decolonising development – a multidimensional issue. Chaired by John Struthers (University of the West of Scotland). Three presentations took place, from the overall view of Pamela Abbott, to Michael Tribe’s focus on the Decolonisation of Aid, and then to Mozammel Huq’s specific example of the Bangladesh Government’s approach to the World Bank’s refusal to finance the building of a high priority infrastructure project.
- Graeme Young (School of Social and Political Sciences, Glasgow University) focused on new global class politics.
- Nigel Dower (emeritus member of the Philosophy Department at Aberdeen University) covered in some depth the philosophical aspect of global ethics and development.
- Benjamin Hunter (School of International Development, Sussex University, but about to join the School of Social and Political Sciences, Glasgow University) was equally lively, focusing on Government investment in overseas social sectors.
Early career and PhD focus
- Dina Nziku (UWS) chaired a session devoted specifically to PhD/early career researchers, giving an opportunity to present their PhD progress or findings.
- Parul Tyagi (Heriot-Watt University) on “The impact of female and political representation on child malnutrition”. This provided an analysis of the impact of female politicians in decision-making roles related to priorities focused on levels of child malnutrition.
- Debasish Roy’s (University of Glasgow) presentation on “Drought and food security: implication for zero hunger goal in Bangladesh” focused on the same SDGs as Parul Tyagi (SDG Goal 2: Zero Hunger; Goal 5: Gender equality; Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth; and Goal 10: Reduced inequalities) as well as SDG 13: Climate action.
- Altaf Hossain’s (Glasgow University) presentation focused on the “Impact on the mental health of the affected people following river erosions: A case study of Bangladesh”. His presentation provided a clear view of the statistical analysis and techniques used in studying a wide range of variables.
- Mohammed Russel (Glasgow University) on “Achieving SDGs in the Context of the SJOS Framework: The Case of Bangladesh” (SJOS = Safe and Just Operating Spaces – see Complexity – Safe and Just Operating Spaces (soton.ac.uk)). This provided an assessment of how far Bangladesh has progressed towards achieving the SDGs. There was a vast amount of data subjected to systematic analysis using the framework adopted internationally for this type of assessment.
Future of DSA Scotland Study Group
Following the presentation it was agreed that five people (Mozammel Huq, Dina Nziku, Graeme Young, Ben Hunter and Michael Tribe) will form a ‘management group’ which will discuss the future of the DSA Scotland Study Group.