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Social Inclusion Research Seminar 2011 Course Overview

                                                                       

SOCIAL INCLUSION RESEARCH FUND

Social Inclusion Research Seminar 2011

Course Overview

 1.   Introduction

 The Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF) was established in 2005 to encourage scientific research that would contribute to understanding and enhancing knowledge in social exclusion and inclusion in Nepal. 

 The Fund supports and promotes original, competitively selected research through funding and capacity building of researchers. The Fund fosters collaboration with academic and research institutions in Nepal and abroad for creation of knowledge, innovation and development through quality research.  

 In its second phase SIRF awarded 32 Harka Gurung Research Fellowships (HGRFs) and 36 Matthias Moyersoen Research Apprentices (MMRAs) in 2011. 

 Social Inclusion Research Seminar course is designed as a part of the capacity building programme to assist the SIRF MMRAs and HGRFs for enhancing their capacity for quality research. The programme is aimed at contributing to the SIRF objectives of a) producing high quality and critical research on causes of social exclusion in Nepal and ways to accommodate and manage diversity; b) making social science research more relevant to excluded and disadvantaged groups and their agendas and finally; c) ensuring that research contributes more effectively to policy debate and a deliberative democratic process by strengthening capacity of the researchers to better design, execute and produce their research. The capacity building programme also provides support to the mentors for enhancing their conceptual and practical skills of better mentoring of the researchers.

The course offers practical training in social research methods and analysis for social exclusion and inclusion with aim to equip the researchers with an understanding and appreciation of both qualitative and quantitative research methods across a range of social science disciplines. SIRF has contracted SAGUN Institute for Advanced Studies to manage the Seminar programme.

 2.   Objectives of the Programme

The primary objective of the programme is to provide opportunity for the enhancement of quality of the research by increasing conceptual understanding and methodological skill for conducting research and producing the research papers for SIRF Research Grantees and Mentors. Through the course, participants will be able to refine their research design through its link to theoretical perspectives, methodological coherency and effective execution of the research resulting in publishable papers subsequently.

3.   Programme Structure

The programme runs for a total period of 18 months beginning July 2011. The programme will have three major components. The first is series of training seminar; second weekly reading circle; and third individual consultation with Academic Advisors.


    3.1. Social Inclusion Research Seminar

The seminars are designed to give opportunity to the MMRAs and HGRFs to come together to learn as a group through combination of reading, reflection and sharing. The programme altogether will have three seminars for MMRAs and four seminars for HGRFs during the period. The first in series focuses on bringing conceptual clarity on the issues of social exclusion and inclusion along refining their research design. The second will focus on refining methodology; the third on data analysis and fourth on writing skills. Since the research period is shorter for MMRA, the third and fourth seminar is combined in one for them. The seminars are held in key stages as the research evolves over time.

Each seminar is generally designed to cover three grounds; the first is to read key materials relevant to research theme following discussion; second, research methodology and the third presentation of the research work by the researchers themselves. The sessions are facilitated by relevant experts as instructors. The reading materials for the seminar are circulated in advance and researchers are expected to read and come ready for discussion so as to contribute to the group learning. Participants are expected to make short presentations (approximately 20 minutes) for which schedule will be made available during the seminar so that all the participants have the chance to make presentations, by turn. The presentations are expected to be concise in line with the theme of the seminar for receiving feedback from peers and instructors as well as mentors.

The following table shows the planned month and training theme for each group:

Date/Month

HGRF

MMRA

August 2011

Concept and research design

Concept and research design

November 2011

Field method and data collection

Field method and data collection

February 2012

 

Data analysis and writing skills

March 2012

Data analysis

 

July 2012

Writing skills

 

In order to the assist for better mentoring of their researchers, two workshops are also planned during the period for mentors. The first one will be held during the August/September 2011 and the second around February 2012. The first workshop will focus on concept and methods of mentoring as pedagogical intervention along the content on social exclusion and inclusion and research method. The second workshop, on the other hand will be devoted specifically to mentoring on writing of the research papers.

     3.2. Reading Circle

Reading circles are meetings in which the researchers meet for sharing on specified reading on the theme relevant to their research on weekly basis. The reading materials will be circulated to the participants in advance and interested participants are encouraged to speak in panels. The reading circles will be facilitated by relevant resource person where possible. The event of reading circles will also be accompanied by presentation of their research work by previous batches of SIRF Researchers.

The purpose of the reading circle and seminars is to provide researchers with the opportunity to read and discuss as a group some of the key literature on social exclusion and inclusion, on literature specific to research topic, on the Nepali context and on research methodologies. This is expected to help researchers improve the theoretical and methodological components as the research work deepens.

    3.3. Individual Consultations

The third component of the capacity building programme is individual consultation. Individual consultation will be held roughly every quarter coincided with the seminar programme. The purpose of the individual consultation is to help researchers to reflect upon the research work, crystallise ideas, identify problems and support needs including from mentors.

The researchers are expected to come prepare to discuss the substance of the research during the individual consultation. Format of the individual consultation will follow roughly from sharing of progress of the work, key ideas, and way forward with Academic Coordinator and Advisor. Wherever needed, relevant mentor will also be asked to join the individual consultation meeting to enrich the discussion. The individual meeting will also be used to review the regular progress reports that researchers are required to submit to SIRF.


4.   Programme Requirements

Participants are expected to attend and actively participate in all the sessions. The more seriously we read the texts and contribute to the discussion, the more all of us will learn and benefit from each other.

Record of attendance and participations in discussion will be maintained and a regular report will be sent to SIRF and respective mentors regarding attendance and active (or inactive) participation to provide feedback on overall evaluation of your work.

 

5.   Venue and Time

The venue of the training seminars will be Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Laltipur. Each seminar will be of 2-3 days duration. Reading materials and programme schedule will be circulated at least a week before the commencement of the programme. The programme starts at 9:00 am and continues till 5:00 pm. In order to start the programme on time, participants are expected to arrive at least 5 minutes before the sessions begin.

Reading Circle will be held in CNAS at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur every Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Individual consultations will be held simultaneously with Seminar from November 2011.


6.   Programme Management

The social inclusion research seminar programme composed of training seminars, reading circles and individual consultation is a part of SIRF capacity building programme. The porgamme is jointly organised by Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Tribhuvan University, SIRF and SAGUN to be held during the research period. SAGUN Institute for Advanced Studies is responsible for managing the Seminar programme.


SAGUN is an interdisciplinary group of researchers from disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Education, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Economics, and Human Geography. We undertake social research into contemporary social issues. One of its research focuses is exclusion and inclusion, this includes broadly, research into the social, cultural, economic, and political determinations of inclusion and exclusion, particularly in the context of state-society relationship and globalisation. Issues such as caste, ethnicity, indigeneity, class, gender, age, place, and globalisation are explored from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives.


The following professionals are involved in designing and running the prorgamme.

Mukta S. Lama-Tamang, (Academic Coordinator), holds PhD in anthropology from Cornell University. His recent publications include ‘The Working of Democracy in Nepal’, Seminar, April 2005, ‘Culture, Caste and Ethnicity in the Maoist Movement’, Studies in Nepali History and Society, (11)2, 2006, “Nepalma samanta, sanghiyeta, ra bahu- sanskritik rastrabad” (Equality, Federalism and Multicultural Nationalism in Nepal). In Rajya Pun-Sangrachana. K. Khanal, J. Subedi and M. Tamang. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari. (2008), “La formation d’une conscience territoriale chez les Tamang”. 

In Gisèle Krauskopff (ed.) Les faiseurs d'histoires - Politique de l'origine et écrits sur le passé : Paris : Société d'ethnologie. 2009, and “A Fiesta at the Polls: Participant-Observation Notes”. In Views from the Field: Anthropological Perspectives on the Constituent Assembly Elections. D. Holmberg and J. Pettigrew, M. Tamang and D. Gellner. Kathmandu: Social Science Baha 2009 among others. He teaches in Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Tribhuvan University. His research interests include social inclusion, indigenous peoples, history, territoriality and nationalism
.
Dambar Chemjong (Academic Advisor), is currently a Ph.D. student in anthropology at Cornell University. His research interests include land, territoriality, indigeneity, naming and nation. He is currently conducting field research among the Limbus, focusing the politics of Limbuwan, in Nepal. He completed his Master’s degree in anthropology from Tribhuvan University (1996) and also did an M.Phil. in social anthropology from University of Bergen, Norway (2002). He has been teaching anthropology at the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Tribhuvan

University since 1996. He has co-authored a book entitled Issues and Experiences: Kamaiya System, Kanara Andolan and Tharus in Bardiya (2000). He frequently writes on indigeneity, nation, land ownership and politics of indigenous peoples in Nepal.

Anju Khadka (Reading Circle Coordinator), is a Ph. D. Scholar in Anthropology and holds M.Phil. Degree in Education at Tribhuvan University. She teaches courses in Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology and Education and also serves as Project Manager for Quality Education Initiative through Critical Thinking Methodology project. Her research interest includes health, inequality, affirmative action, water, hygiene and sanitation, gender issue, as well as language and education. She has published articles in various journals and edited books including Talking with Hill Peoples, Talking with

 Tarai/Madhesh Peoples; and The Paharis of Nepal: Enculturation and Schooling Process.


Jhakendra Gharti Magar (Academic Associates) is sociologist and currently teaching Master's degree course in Sociology/Anthropology Saraswati Multiple Campus in Tribhuvan University. He has co-authored recently published ethnography "Majhi Jatiko Chinari, 2011" and several articles in journals and papers to his credit. His research interest includes education system in federal restructuring, social movement and governance in Nepal. He received SIRF Research award in 2007 and carried studies on traditional clan organisation among Magars in Dhorpatan Region in Baglung district.

For further contact


SAGUN,

P.O.Box. 7802 Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal

URL : www.sagun.org.np

E-mail: info@sagun.org.np

Tel: 977-1-4229544

Jhakendra Gharti Magar at <samananter@gmail.com>