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Reflective Research Practices in Makame WMA

In the heart of Makame, as we navigate the delicate interplay of research and reality, our own positionality is critically illuminated. As researchers, we are far from neutral observers; instead, we carry with us the imprints of our own cultures, experiences, and biases. This amalgamation of personal factors colours our interactions and shapes the narratives we draw from the community. Recognizing this, we confront the inherent power dynamics that have historically allowed researchers to extract and shape stories in ways that distort and disenfranchise.

Our approach at ConnectGo strives to subvert these traditional dynamics. By collaborating closely with colleagues from the Makame Wildlife Management Area, we endeavour to co-produce knowledge that respects and reflects the community’s perspectives and priorities. We aim to dismantle the unequal power structures by constantly checking our biases and ensuring our research methodologies empower rather than overshadow the voices we seek to amplify.

Through this reflective practice, we aspire not only to gather data but to engage in a more equitable, respectful, and mutually enriching exchange of knowledge. This commitment to acknowledging and adjusting for our positionality helps us bridge the gap between researcher and community, fostering a research environment where power is shared and all stories are told with integrity and respect.

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