Connecting Citizens to Science – S4E2 – Intersections between Research and Activism
In this week’s episode we will be discussing the intersections between research and activism for social change. With our guests Vinodkumar Rao and Joseph Kimani, we will be seeking to understand how lessons from activist approaches can be applied within research and vice versa. We will also explore how power, participation and social justice fits within the wider research agenda when seeking to engage communities in informal settings.
Key points we hear from Kimani and Vinod include:
- How slum federations in India and Kenya lead data collection with support from NGOs and researchers so they can demand rights and ensure they have a ‘seat ‘at the decision-making table
- The role that researchers play within activist organisations to support knowledge generation, understand government policies and to decipher academic evidence so that communities can develop solutions or ask for resources from the state.
- The organic growth of ‘movement’ building – when one community takes action another will follow and have an example to build upon
- The importance of collecting data about slums, challenging government data, and producing evidence to ‘prove their existence, to prove their requirements and to prove the value that they bring to the city by inhabiting in the city.’
- How dominance and power within community structures is considered and managed within activism to promote inclusion