How to collaborate with Pacific Churches for development research

Guidance for effective approaches to collaborations with Churches in the Pacific for development research
International cooperation Sustainable development Research Research management Religion Pacific people Non-governmental organizations Australia Pacific Area
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This guide is a practical resource to assist Australian-based researchers and Australian and international development organisations. The guide is designed to support good practice for research partnerships with Churches in the Pacific, where the aim of the research is to generate evidence that influences policy and practice in the international development sector. The primary focus is how individuals and organisations might partner with Pacific churches for development research. The guide does not consider in depth whether researchers should work with Churches in the Pacific. Rather, it provides insights into how these research collaborations can be conducted effectively and ethically. The case studies at the end highlight the application of the principles contained in the guide.

The information in this guide draws on Pacific values and research protocols, and regional and global evidence on how to work effectively and ethically with faith-based partners for international development. Twenty-two interviews with individuals representing Pacific Churches and/or involved in Pacific Church research collaborations were conducted to inform the guide’s contents (see list of contributors, p.ii).

The primary intended audience for the guide is development practitioners with an interest or focus on Pacific programs, including those working in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as researchers. Researchers may be working within academic institutions with a particular focus on the Australian/Pacific development sector. The guide will also be relevant for others engaged in international development, such as NGOs and researchers based in other countries; donors; individual consultants and the private sector, with an interest in setting up or participating in Pacific research activities.

The impetus to write this guide was feedback received from participants in the RDI Network who expressed an interest in working with Churches in the Pacific. The guide was commissioned by the Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network, a network of practitioners, researchers and evaluators working in international development. The RDI Network is a partner of, and hosted by, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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