The research agenda. One part of the agenda tends to be about how to make our organisations or sector more efficient. Another part tends to be about understanding an issue better. This sounds sensible.
However, it is a good reminder to ask who sets the agenda. Who determines what areas to drive efficiency in? Or which issues or topics to seek more understanding in?
The answer is: those funding it – whether that’s a donor or ourselves.
What is the dominant worldview perpetuated by or through the research agenda?
Perhaps it is a good time to ask what role the communities we seek to serve have in setting agenda. Or another way to ask the question is to ask, who is the research for? Who uses it?
Perhaps it’s a good time to ask how the agenda would change if they made the decisions.
Or what would happen if we visited the leaders of a community, of a local school, local health clinic. And made them an offer. What if we offered to them the full weight of our research capacity to research and analyse issues and topics they were wanting to make decisions on? What if we offered them our ability to assess, interview, number crunch, and analyse primary and secondary data? Our ability to make beautiful data visualisations, reports, and so on?
Do you think they would ‘buy’ or ‘accept’ our offer? Why or why not?
If they did, what impact would this have on communities? on us?