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A case study from Guyana of adapting engaged research design to promote ‘fairness in knowing’

Richard Holliman, Alessandra Marino, Ann Grand, Andrea Berardi, Jay Mistry, Deirdre Jafferally, Raquel Thomas, Grace Roberts, Carol-Ann Marcus, Indranee Roopsind, Anthony Roberts

2022 Guyana, United Kingdom

In this paper, we have combined ideas drawn from philosophy (epistemic injustice), critical theory
(epistemicide) and practical approaches (engaged research design) with Indigenous knowledge
to promote ‘fairness in knowing’ in a project called DETECT (Integrated Space Technology Vector
Control for Enhancing community health and resilience against escalating climatic disruptions), an early warning system to support communities in identifying mosquito breeding sites using satellite, drone and ground-sensing technologies. DETECT used engaged research design to inform preaward planning. We document how the project team, comprising Indigenous and other researchers, re-imagined the plans in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow project participants to meet safely and equitably, and reflect on some of the key challenges in engaging across borders and cultures in the context of rapidly changing conditions characterised by vulnerability, risk, complexity and uncertainty.

community-based research; engaged research design; epistemic justice; epistemology;
Indigenous self-determination; international development; malaria; organisational change; planning; upstream engagement