The hybrid course piloted by the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine connected researchers, scholars and students to accelerate discussion and exploration of diversity in teaching and research.
The course, titled ‘Decolonising research methods in global health and social medicine’ was held over June and saw a positive step towards meeting the Department’s objective to support the decolonisation of public health, medicine and global health – and higher education.
Participants actively explored the limitations of current practices and learnt about indigenous methods of understanding the world. It was delivered by experts applying a decolonisation lens to qualitative and quantitative research case studies. This includes epistemology of health, ethics in research practices, reflective practices and lessons learnt from indigenous research.
There have been recent efforts throughout different institutions worldwide to explore strategies to decolonise knowledge productions, pedagogical practices and research methods. This course successfully opened the door for our global community to engage in learning and diversifying our current strategies and practices.– Dr Nancy Tamimi, course lead and member of the Anti-Racism Steering Group.
Dr Tamimi: “It was an opportunity to achieve equal partnerships between Global North and Global South institutions, ensuring sustainable academic relationships and strengthening the research capacities of a new generation of researchers.”
Experts on the course included:
- Dr Johanna Keikelame, discussing the importance of acknowledging shifting power dynamics when conducting research, where participants have more power than the researcher.
- Dr Sohail Jannesari, discussing the need to centre ethics around community committees and building power outside university institutions.
- Dr Gonzalo Basile, discussing the importance of recognising knowledge generated from the Global South and creating South-to-South epistemologies.
- Dr Kaaren Mathias, discussing how data tells a story but never the whole story of the researched person.
- Dr Weaam Hammoudeh, discussing mental health in war-affected settings and how things could improve if we recognise the structural inequalities and injustices that cause people's mental ill health.
- Dr Jason Ardav, discussing the limitations of 'collaborative research' that are usually situated around economic differences.
- Dr Bitta Wigginton and Francis Nona, discussing settler colonialism.
- Dr Nancy Carajal, discussing how our actions, discourses and behaviours impact others' lives.
Developed and delivered by the Department’s Anti-Racism Steering Group, the course was attended by 40 students, academics and researchers from 30 different countries.
It was led by Dr Nancy Tamimi and coordinated by research assistants, Hala Khalawi (MSc, Birzeit University in occupied Palestinian territory) and Omar Gabriel Torres Valencia (MD, MSc, King’s College London).