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DSAI Summer School: Reflecting on Decolonial Development through an Indigenous and Feminist Critical Lens, Online and Thurles, Ireland, 30-31 May 2024

Online 30 May, in-person 31 May at Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Thurles Campus

Register here

The DSAI Summer School provides a focussed 2-day programme of workshops exploring research methods for development. The event will engage NGOs, Policy Makers, and Academics both as contributors to the programme and as participants. Connecting research, policy and practice, the programme will bring together international experts through interactive sessions to enhance the professional development of participants. Sharanya Nayak, an indigenous community activist from India will provide the key note address at this years event.

In the context of unfolding climate breakdown, with the socio-political implications becoming more apparent, it is appropriate to re-examine the concept of ‘development’ and to do so through both an Indigenous Worldview and a Feminist perspective.

This year the Technological University of the Shannon at Thurles, Co. Tipperary will be hosting the DSAI Summer School on the theme of Reflecting on Decolonial Development through an Indigenous and a Feminist Critical Lens. This will be held over 2-days using a blended format with 30th May online and 31st May in-person in Thurles. We are proposing to adopt a field studies approach at the Summer School with workshops taking place at a range of venues which resonate with the theme.

The overall objective of the Summer School is to enable students to develop their research skills through exposure to a number of research pieces presented by researchers, policy makers and practitioners using both an Indigenous and Feminist critical lens. The attendees will then work in teams to develop their own research methodology under the guidance of academics and practitioners.

Material will be presented as 'trigger material' online on 30th May. This material will consist of examples of good Indigenous and Feminist field-based research. On May 31st participants will meet in Thurles and under the guidance of experienced facilitators, will together create proposals for innovative research methods that may be applied in the field.

This event is jointly organised between DSAI Gender and Civil Society Study Groups. It is supported by DSA Ireland, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), and Technological University of the Shannon (TUS).

 “Climate change is creating a downward spiral for women and girls”, said Sarah Hendriks, UN Women Deputy Executive Director  “…UN Women is calling for feminist climate justice, and a world in which everyone can enjoy their human rights, and flourish on a planet that is healthy and sustainable.” UN Women  

“Indigenous peoples are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change, due to their dependence upon, and close relationship, with the environment and its resources. Climate change exacerbates the difficulties already faced by indigenous communities including political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination and unemployment.” UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Indigenous Peoples  

Speakers’ Biographies  

Sharanya Nayak

Sharanya has worked for many years with tribal communities in South Orissa and South Chhattisgarh in Central India through prolonged violent internal conflict, destructive industrialization and drought-migration conditions. She has first–hand experience of working with women for their empowerment through participatory processes and with tribal communities on mother-tongue based education and developing ‘culturally appropriate curriculum’ using approaches of social history documentation and appreciative enquiry with community elders, tribal youth and school going children. She is a Member of Rangmatipadar Adivasi Commune, Koraput and has worked as a Programme Officer with ActionAid India. Sharanya has a Law Degree and a Masters in Sociology.    

Dr. Nita Mishra  - UL 

Nita Mishra is Assistant Professor in the Dept of Politics & Public Administration, University of Limerick. Her research focuses on human rights-based approaches to development, feminist methodologies, gender, non-government organisations, environment, and peace studies. Nita has worked extensively at grassroots level with civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, and funding bodies in India. She has worked on innumerable research. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Economic & Political Weekly, European Journal of Development Research, and Policy & Practice.  Currently, Nita is Vice President (Education & Next Generation) of the European Association of Development Research & Training Institutes (EADI), and Convenor of its Gender Justice Working Group. 

Dr. Catherine Corcoran - TUS  

Catherine hasworked in the development sector for over 30 years with in Ireland and Africa, at management, policy and community levels with CONCERN Worldwide and also in academia at the Technological University of the Shannon. She has led and advised organisations on strategic and community-led planning and provided leadership, research, technical support and advice within challenging contexts, developing and leading consortia and partnerships at an International level. Her PhD research focuses on community-led planning and resilience building.