Research Relations: An Ethnography of Qualitative Data Sharing in Nairobi

Start and End Date

01/08/2019 to 08/01/2021

Description

The project examines changing ideas about research ethics and data sharing among social scientists in Nairobi, Kenya, responding both to increasing concern that scientific knowledge is not benefiting the communities studied and to growing, global interest in the possible benefits of “open data.” The project researcher is examining the data processes, practices and tools used by diverse professional researchers conducting qualitative research in/on Nairobi. The researcher is documenting and analyzing the scientific infrastructures that are used to generate, manage and store qualitative data by a department at a Kenyan university, private research company, and grassroots development organizations all based in Nairobi. Ethnographic interviews and participatory observation at these sites are the primary means of data collection, supplemented by analyses of policy and technical documents, budgets, and archival materials. This project involves a public event with fifty participants including social scientists and relevant stakeholders where emerging research results will be shared, critically appraised, and refined. Methodologically, the project models and advances understanding of collaborative research in the social studies of science.