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Decolonising research approaches towards non-extractive research

Paul Agu Igwe, Nnamdi O. Madichie, David Gamariel Rugara

2022 United Kingdom

Purpose–This study aims to reflect on the extent to which research approaches need to be deconstructed and re-imagined towards developing inclusive knowledge and non-extractive research approaches from a Global South perspective.

Design/methodology/approach–Conceptually, integrating the methodological logic and strategy of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and a postcolonial paradigm of decolonising research, this study proposes a research process that engages cultural diversity and an inclusive environment. CBPR approach enables involving, informing and consulting Indigenous communities in espousing theoretical approaches and giving voice to marginalised groups. Findings–This study answers pertinent questions on what “decolonising” means and how to decolonise research by developing a model of culturally inclusive research approaches. This study ultimately posits that colonialism dominates research and limits knowledge transmission among Indigenous research ideologies.

Research limitations/implications–In recent years, the world has witnessed major socio-political protests that challenges systemic racism and the role of education and institutions in perpetuating racial inequality. This study advocates that researchers consider integrating communities in the designing, conducting, gathering of data, analysing, interpreting and reporting research.

Practical implications–This study advocates knowledge creation through research that considers integrating the voices of Indigenous communities in the design, analysis, interpretation and reporting of research protocols.

Originality/value–In the light of anticolonial thought, decolonising research approaches provides a means for a radical change in research ethics protocol. A model of culturally inclusive research approach was developed, using the framework of CBPR, decolonising the research approaches comprising 6Rs (respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility, relationships and relationality).

Community-based participatory research, Decolonising research philosophy, Ethics of research practice, Non-extractive research, Culturally inclusive research