Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes
So now am back in office in Kilifi, and can't help but reflect on the activities of last week; the summer school in Malawi - although it was winter (and not summer in Malawi). Apart from the cold - and some of us had very thin layers of clothes and on occasion horded around other seeking a bit of warmth - it was absolutely amazing; Malawi is a beautiful country, and the people are amazing; the summer school had an array of programme that provided diversity in topics and commonality in focus - ethics and community engagement across six different countries: Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, United Kingdom, Thailand and Vietnam. I certainly enjoyed the presentation and the social events. It was amazing to see the growth of GHBN; 10 bursaries awarded in the last 3 years, all at various stages of implementation; diverse topics empirically investigated, and use of different methodologies in investigating ethical issues in these contexts. Another notable change is now the strong focus on ethics, and a critical stance/reflection of how research and community engagement are carried out, and the influences that our positions (as implementers and researchers) contribute on the issues that we investigate and the methodologies we use.
An area of interest that was echoed throughout the workshop was undertaking collaborative research across these different settings; an area am definitely excited about (watch this space!), and has limitless opportunities. I think this signifies a huge growth for GHBN - reaching across different settings and contexts to investigate common areas of interest, while also remaining novel in approaches. Many of us are interested in these types of activities and research, and I am sure that we will be populating this site with more information on these areas. It was great meeting many of the workshop participants again (no wonder we talked endlessly - right throughout all the bus rides, social events, breaks in between presentations - and i hope that those conversations will continue). Another amazing addition in this summer school was having Bobbie, Katherine and Robin join us; the positive energy they brought to the workshop was simply 'contagious' - am still spreading it in Kilif! Thank you all for a wonderful experience, and the Malawi team (Nicola, Elvis, Deborah, Tamara, Greyson, and many others), Asanteni sana (thank you very much!). Looking forward to the next summer school in Vietnam in 2015; and to undertaking interesting collaborative work before then!
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