Social science research and Covid-19

Isis Barei-Guyot


Academics and researchers working in International Development face a number of predicted changes to the research environment and landscape in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in relation to fieldwork conducted in middle- and lowerincome countries. This paper is designed to provide researchers and research teams with an understanding of how to manage these changes at all stages of the research process, placing a particular focus on issues of safeguarding and collaborative research. Information from reports, blogs and webinars (limited to the English language) has been analysed to discern how and why research and research methods will need to adjust in the context of the pandemic. The paper finds that the research environment and landscape are likely to change in a number of ways, and highlights the emphasis placed in the information analysed on decolonising research postpandemic. Although decolonising research is by no means a new topic, the significance placed on things such as safeguarding, ethics and collaborative research within this discourse makes it a valuable topic for consideration by researchers now. The paper concludes with a synthesis of recommendations and resources for adapting research design in light of the aforementioned changes brought about by the pandemic. In the short term and beyond, the research community has an opportunity to reimagine internationalisation, to strengthen existing research partnerships and to place equity as a core principle in new partnerships.


Social Science, Research, Decolonisation, Research Methods, Safeguarding, Covid-19

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