Building Closer Academic-Community Collaboration

 
CERIS – PAC Research Training Project
Knowledge For Action – Action For Knowledge

Building Closer
Academic-Community
Collaboration

Building Closer Academic-Community Collaboration   1
CERIS – PAC Research Training Project
Knowledge For Action – Action For Knowledge

         Building Closer Academic-Community
                     Collaboration
This four hour workshop explores the important topic of building stronger ties between
Researchers and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) through collaboration. It will
elicit from the group their experiences, stereo-types and definitions of collaboration
derived from working in partnership with academic/consultant/trained researchers. Given
the relative disempowerment of CBOs in setting the agenda for policy and research, this
workshop emphasizes the latter’s ability to negotiate terms in collaborative ventures. This
may help to redress some of the imbalance they experience, and it will also help their
research partners to reduce risk. Thus, the workshop provided below is designed for
community-based workers, but it can be easily modified for

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Goal:
•    Elicit from the group their experiences, stereo-types and definitions of collaboration
     derived from working in partnership with academic/ consultant/ trained researchers.

Objectives:
•    Apply a research-knowledge framework to collaborative practice.

•    Discuss experiences in research.

•    Define collaboration and good partnership.

•    Describe what researchers need to know about working with community partners.

•    Anticipate what community partners need to know about working with researchers.

•    Act. Write a post card to CERIS with Terms of Agreement for collaboration.

•    Evaluate workshop.

Outcome:
•    Strengthen ties between researchers and community-based organizations (CBOs)
     through learning more about collaboration.

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    - WORKSHOP BACKGROUND FOR CERIS -
WORKSHOP LENGTH

• Four hours

TRAINING METHODS

•         Adult Education

•         Participatory

•         Experiential Learning

•         Use of Visual Aids

•         Small Group Work: Discussion, Exercises.

TEACHING AIDS AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

•         Transparencies

•         Task Sheets

•         Flipchart, markers, masking tape

•         Overhead projector

•         Handouts

FACILITATION MEDIUM

•         English

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FACILITATOR: REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

•         Some knowledge of CERIS, PAC and the Research Training Project

•         Thorough knowledge of immigrant and refugee-serving agencies and
          organizations in the Greater Toronto Area

•         Good understanding of barriers faced by immigrant-serving groups in
          accessing research

•         Thorough knowledge of existing research sources and studies on the
          immigration and refugee sector

•         Excellent skills and knowledge of adult education methods

•         Strategic thinking and planning skills

•         Understanding of community dynamics and organized social action

NOTES TO THE TRAINER

Participants should receive the workshop description, the agenda, copies of
transparencies, and task sheets arranged by module in a binder or pocket folder
when the workshop starts. The “goal and objectives” could be flipcharted and
taped on the wall beforehand to save time. The source list and any CERIS
materials should be handed out as takeaway information after the workshop.

Depending on the number of participants, round tables could be set up in a room
that is physically accessible. Flipcharts and an overhead projector will be needed.
You may request volunteers from among the participants to help you tape sheets
or collect materials throughout the workshop as needed.

Instructions are given through out the curriculum. Terms are also highlighted. The
trainer is provided with all the material he/she needs to lead a workshop. If he/she
wishes to strike out on a different path, this will require further preparation. More
information is given here than is strictly necessary. Don’t attempt to apply it all in
one four hour session. Do try and delegate the task of sending the CERIS post-
card to its intended recipient. Above all, the trainer is advised to rely on the
workshop participants, because they will provide the expert content for the
workshop. Facilitate the discussion, and enjoy

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                                          - AGENDA -
                                                   (4 Hours)
Introduction

1.             Welcome                                               (5 min)
2.             Introduction                                          (10 min)
3.             Review of Agenda and Objectives                             (15 min)

The Importance of collaboration                                (20 minutes)

4.             Research knowledge framework
5.             Power knowledge History and practice in Academia
6.             Collaboration shifts the balance of power
7.             Collaboration is a process like “negotiated dialogue”
8.             Other disciplines and collaborative practice
9.             Collaboration between Community Based agencies and
                researchers
10.            Community based agencies worker as knowledge brokers
11.            Community based agencies can do direct research

Use groups exercises when appropriate

Workshop Summary                                               (10 min)

Evaluation
Closure and possible follow-up activities

(Please Note: the agenda and the full workshop are adpatable to various
audiences)

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Who are we?:
Curriculum participants may wish to share insights from previous or similar workshops.
Keep introductions brief. It is always a good idea to write all the names down on a large
piece of paper and post that throughout the session. Name tags or cards are also helpful.

Assumptions:
The workshop trainer should provide her or his general assumptions or expectations. Are
you expecting people who have attended several of the workshops in the series? Who is
this for?

For example: The desired long-term outcome for this workshop is to strengthen ties
between CBOs and researchers. This will be achieved by opening up dialogue around
collaboration. It is a valid exercise to know what is in researchers minds, but given the
relative disempowerment of CBOs in setting the agenda for policy and research, this
workshop emphasises the latters ability to negotiate terms in collaborative ventures. This
may help to redress some of the imbalance they experience, and it will also help their
partners to reduce “risk”. Thus, the workshop provided below is for community-based
workers, but is easily modified for students, researchers and policy makers.

What level of training, or basic approach will be applied? How does your own
professional or personal background influence your approach?

For example:

If an anthropologist, mostly trained in qualitative methods, and an economist, mostly
trained in quantitative methods, were each asked to teach a strategic planning exercise,
each would set a different pace and emphasis.

In stereo-typical terms, the former might invite people to share life story events to probe
their motives in making certain choices during the strategic planning exercise. Paying
attention to the content and how this information is shared, the anthropologist may not
worry whether all the points on the outline get addressed. When evaluating the workshop,
he or she will consider the quality of the encounter in that reflection.

The latter, however, would likely stress numerical outcomes. The applied element in the
strategic planning exercise for the economist will be to show how these outcomes could be
quantified, that is, tabulated in a systematic way, to predict and demonstrate a trend that
needs attention. When evaluating the workshop, he or she will assess how well they got
the methodology across, and save what sounded like a fascinating, but off-track,
discussion on the newest wave of refugees lack of documentation, for coffee break.

More on stereo-types later!! It helps to alert people to your biases. Still, keep it brief!

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 How to modify the workshop to address different stake-holders:

 Expect a mix:

 As stated, the fundamental bias for this workshop is to address the needs of community-
based workers. The reality is that the depth of expertise among CBOs will be quite mixed.
It is reasonable to anticipate that executive directors from large agencies to a youthful
school-based settlement worker, or even graduate level local researchers and seasoned,
even jaded, community workers will attend. The trainer must ensure that all participants
have a say, and remain alert to possibilities that will shake up peoples natural inclination to
form like-minded cliques, say by putting them in small random groups. Then, the same
rich benefits will arise here, as those accrued from a collaborative venture working well
elsewhere.

 Non-CBOs:

 The workshop can be altered to address groups of people who represent the other end of
 the spectrum, such as students, researchers, consultants, policy-makers. Of course, in
 reality, a mixture of expertise and power-wielding is also found among these groups.

 Three different recommendations come to mind:
 (1)     Rethink and restate the questions with the non-CBO group in mind. Anticipate
          their answers. What will be different is that you will be asking policy or
          researcher groups about their assumptions and experiences working with CBOs.
          Same questions, different perspectives.

 (2)     Modification on (1): the trainer may wish to alter Exercise Two: Defining
         Collaboration, by adding one or more scenarios. Divide the group into a
         minimum of two and a maximum of four scenarios. In the latter case, two groups
         can address Scenarios One and Two as if they were CBO workers. A third group
         can address Scenario One with themselves--in whatever situation that might be--
         anticipating working with a CBO researcher. A fourth group can address Scenario
         Two having been told that they (students or academic researchers) are to partner
         with bureaucrats in a pre-determined government study.

 (3)     Alternatively: take the basic examples and information provided and work up a
         focus group discussion to address the questions put to some CERIS related stake-
         holders for this curriculum:

 !" How important is collaboration. And, what is the ideal?

 !" What is the quality of collaboration? Who’s involved?

 !" What barriers exist, and why?

 !" What collaborative practices are working, and why?

 !" Specific examples of collaboration, working or not working?

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!" Other comments? Future for collaboration?

Leave time for the focus group to write up their Terms of Agreement after the discussion.

In both cases:
•    Frame the workshop with a discussion on research and knowledge.

•    Include the exercise on stereo-types. Cut from option (3) only if time is tight. This will
     help the trainer to see how in touch the non-CBO groups are with community
     perspectives, and vice-versa.

•    The participants should review the key points on collaborative practices preferred by
     CBOs.*

•    Write up Terms of Agreement for collaboration.

Enclosed within this curriculum are cited sources, examples of collaborative ventures, and
commentary from different stake-holders. A small number of people who were available,
related to CERIS in some way, and thought collaboration was a sufficiently important
issue to answer the questions above, comprised the survey group. Notes from one
workshop with a group in the GTA are also enclosed. The trainer will want to bring
these sources in, so that the group can write up Terms of Agreement with these
perspectives in mind. If a non-CBO group seems out of touch with community
perspectives, it may help to have them quickly draft their terms of reference, then provide
them with community examples to make comparisons. *At a minimum refer to workshop
notes on Exercise Two and the Borisenko article in the Appendix.

                                     CURRICULUM

There is sufficient information in this document to take the workshop in several different
directions. Yet it is also possible to follow the bare-bones provided in the outline. The
choice is left to the trainer. He/she will want to highlight the sections they find relevant.
Do not expect to share all the information provided in one session! Rely on the workshop
participants to provide the bulk of the material.

!" Apply a research-knowledge framework to collaborative practices.

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Purpose:

Establish that research is about gaining and applying knowledge. Power and knowledge
are linked. Collaboration--a negotiated process--helps shift the balance in power. CBO
workers are culture and knowledge brokers. They can do and direct research.

Refer to the research-knowledge material. The trainer must decide whether he/she will get
into an extended discussion, or simply state that these are starting points for this
workshop. One approach taken in other workshops was to talk about what is knowledge
and how do we know. This can lead to a rich, but lengthy, discussion.

!" Discuss experiences in research and check our assumptions.

Purpose:

See where assumptions arise from, and recognize that we all have them. Research protocol
calls for stating assumptions up front.

1. Have you ever participated in doing, planning or designing research? Describe.

2. Were you or your agency ever the subject of research? Describe.

3. Have you ever worked with an academic or trained researcher? How did
   this alter or reinforce stereo-types you may have had?

Exercise One:
List stereo-types/assumptions about academics and their research. If you were looking
from their perspective what stereo-types/assumptions might they draw about you or your
agency? What stereo-types might the immigrant community you serve have about CBOs
and researchers?

•    The questions are straight-forward. Use them as ice-breakers to move into the
     collaborative research topic. The trainer may decide to ask participants to share this
     information with the group, or with someone next to them. Keep it short!

•    Focus on the stereo-type exercise.

•       Ask or explain what a stereo-type is. In anthropology we talk about straw-men or
straw-women. This would be a universal type, created out of a bundle of generalizations
about their characteristics. Primitive man is like this, immigrants are like that.

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•    We know that people don t fit the universal. In this case, however, encourage people
     to go over the top! Participants need a safe place to express thoughts that would
     normally be censored. A basic respectful attitude is required between participants. For
     example, each person gets heard. But, explain that during the session, value
     judgements will be suspended. In a Jungian sense, this grants permission to acquaint
     one s Self with one s Shadow. Later the participants will check their assumptions
     and whether they hold true.

•    When the curriculum writer did this exercise, she found that the CBO workers had no
     difficulty coming up with a list of stereo-types about academics. They had more
     difficulty thinking about themselves in the same way. The three perspectives given in
     this exercise do test Self and Other knowledge. Don t be labour the point.

•    Refer to the Appendix and view the workshop example.

•    Draw a line down the middle of the page for a comparative list between stereo-types
     of researchers versus CBO workers.

•    Define collaboration and good partnership.

Purpose:

Enter into a possible, but imaginary, scenario to get at definitions of collaboration, and see
what values and other concerns rise up.

Exercise Two:
Scenario One: Assume that your CBO has decided that it needs to do some research and
produce these findings. You are considering working with a trained researcher. You would
like this to be a collaborative project.

Scenario Two: You were asked to join in an academic-led research project in your region.

           1.       Discuss what collaboration means to you.

          2.        What would make this a good partnership?

          3.        Other concerns.

•    Divide into a minimum of two and maximum of four groups. Each will discuss a
     scenario. Refer to page on making modifications.

•    Each group will appoint a scribe and write on large sheets of paper. Ask them to keep
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     their comments to points or brief statements. They should expect to report to the
     group.

•    Each group will be given the Borisenko article. If they feel a need to refer to it point
     out the section:What Made this a Good Partnership (1997:171). Encourage the group
     to come up with their own ideas.

•    The trainer can also refer to the workshop example and this document. Collaboration
     requires a two-way flow of resources between relative equals.

•    Try to go for more primary definitions and concerns.

•    What differences emerged between the groups with different scenarios?

•    Describe what researchers and community partners need to know about each other.

Purpose:

Reporting our relative concerns and abilities helps to ground our experience, and move us
away from stereo-types.

Exercise Three:
What do researchers need to know about working with community partners? List concerns
and abilities.

4.       What do CBOs need to know about working with academic/ trained researchers?
        List concerns and abilities.

•    Summarize. Drawing from Exercises One and Two, list concerns and abilities for
     CBOs and researchers. Put the two side by side.

•    If time is short, writing up the lists could be dropped. This curriculum workshop
     leader found that without this summary step though, workshop participants flounder in
     the next one.

•    The section: What Do Researchers Need to Know About Working with Community
     Partners in Borisenko s article, is a good starting point. She lists: (1) be sensitive
     about time; (2) relevance to community; (3) academic or policy related research; (4)
     timely research questions.

•    Conversely this document describes the academic researcher s universe and the
     limitations and possibilities found therein: (1) shared issues, different research goals;
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     (2) publication for tenure, lack of recognition of community based research; (3)
     systematic and thorough approach to material; (4) possibility of becoming a natural
     advocate.

•    Act. Write a post-card to CERIS with the Terms of Agreement for working
     collaboratively together.

Purpose:

State our assumptions and knowledge about each other, what collaboration and good
partnership means, what we want acknowledged, and by what Terms of Agreement we are
willing to enter into partnership with each other to work towards the goal of supporting
work and research on immigration and settlement.

Exercise Four:
Use the workshop findings to summarize in a post-card to CERIS and the Metropolis
Project (representing multi-partnerships) your Terms of Agreement.

•    This will likely take two steps.

•    One, restate the purpose statements into questions and ask the group to answer each of
     them in sequence. These become the basis for the Terms of Agreement.

               -    What do we know and assume about each other?

               -    How do we define collaboration and good partnership?

                    What do we need acknowledged most? What do we bring to the table?

               -    What are our shared goals?

               -    What then are our Terms of Agreement towards these goals?

•    Two, consolidate these Terms into a post-card. Summarize key points. Explain that
     CBOs and researchers could also use this card as a template to interview potential
     research partners.

•    The time and group size will affect the trainer s choices whether to have people work
     as one group, or in small groups, on the Terms of Agreement. The small groups could
     then be brought together to work on the post-card. Or each group can create their own
     postcard and then share in a postcard session. These post-cards are likely on big sheets
     of paper!
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•    Do you want to send this postcard to CERIS? Designate the task!

•    Evaluate the workshop.

•    Provide each participant with an evaluation form.

•    Close the session with a short statement from each person. Don’t leave without doing
     this important ritual. If time is short have them take the evaluation sheet with them,
     and return it later. Just as the sharing around the circle in the introduction opens-up
     the discussion, the sharing around the circle at the end closes the event.

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Handouts for the participants:
: BUILDING CLOSER ACADEMIC-COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

Introduction to workshop goals and objectives:

Outcome:            Strengthen ties between researchers and community-based organizations
                    (CBOs) through learning more about collaboration.

Goal:               Elicit from the group their experiences, stereo-types and definitions of
                    collaboration derived from working in partnership with academic/
                    consultant/ trained researchers.

Objectives:

•    Apply a research-knowledge framework to collaborative practice.

•    Discuss experiences in research. Exercise One on stereo-types.

•    Define collaboration and good partnership. Exercise Two on collaborative project.

•    Describe what researchers need to know about working with community partners.
     Exercise Three on concerns and abilities.

•    Anticipate what community partners need to know about working with researchers.
     Exercise Three on concerns and abilities.

•    Act. Write a post card to CERIS. Exercise Four on Terms of Agreement for
     collaboration.

•    Evaluate workshop.

Introduce ourselves:

Who are we?:        Curriculum participants may wish to share insights from previous or
                    similar workshops.

Assumptions:        The workshop trainer will provide general assumptions or expectations.

•    Apply a research-knowledge framework to collaborative practices.
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 Purpose:         To understand that research is about gaining and applying knowledge.
                  Power and knowledge are linked. Collaboration--a negotiated process--
                  helps shift the balance in power. CBO workers are culture and knowledge
                  brokers, and can do and direct research.

 •   Discuss experiences in research and check our assumptions.

 Purpose:

 See where assumptions arise from, and recognize that we all have them. Research protocol
 usually calls for stating assumptions up front.

 1. Have you ever participated in doing, planning or designing research? Describe.

 2. Were you or your agency ever the subject of research? Describe.

 3. Have you ever worked with and academic or trained researcher? How did this alter or
    reinforce stereo-types you may have had?

 Exercise One:

 List stereo-types/assumptions about academics and their research. If you were looking
from their perspective what stereo-types/assumptions might they draw about you or your
agency? What stereo-types might the immigrant community you serve have about CBOs
and researchers?

 •   Define collaboration and good partnership.

 Purpose:

 Enter into a possible, but imaginary, scenario to get at definitions of collaboration, and see
what values and other concerns rise up

 Exercise Two:

 Scenario One:

 Assume that your CBO has decided that it needs to do some research and produce these
 findings. You are considering working with a trained researcher. You would like this to be
 a collaborative project.
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Scenario Two:

You were asked to join in an academic-led research project in your region.

1. Discuss what collaboration means to you.

2. What would make this a good partnership?

3. Other concerns.

•    Describe what researchers and community partners need to know about each other.

Purpose:

Reporting our relative concerns and abilities helps to ground our experience, and move us
away from stereo-types.

Exercise Three:

1. What do researchers need to know about working with community partners? List
   concerns and abilities.

2. What do CBOs need to know about working with academic/ trained researchers? List
   concerns and abilities.

•    Act. Write a post-card to CERIS with the Terms of Agreement for working
     collaboratively together.

Purpose:

State our assumptions and knowledge about each other, what collaboration and good
partnership means, what we want acknowledged, and by what Terms of Agreement we are
willing to enter into partnership with each other to work towards the goal of supporting
work and research on immigration and settlement.

Exercise Four:

Use the workshop findings to summarize in a post-card to CERIS and the Metropolis
Project (representing multi-partnerships) your Terms of Agreement.

•    Evaluate the workshop.

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                       A Research-Knowledge Framework:

 The trainer will want to share the following statements on research-knowledge.

 These statements are helpful markers to remind researchers and community
 workers of their shared basis for respect, negotiation and collaboration:

 •    Research is about gaining knowledge, with the aim to apply it in some way.

 •    Power and knowledge are fundamentally linked.

 •    Collaboration in research helps to shift power imbalances.

 •    Collaboration is a process. Like negotiated dialogue, it does not rest on a singular
      failure or success.

 •    CBO workers are knowledge brokers, cultural interpreters.

 •    CBO workers can do and direct research.

 Research and knowledge-getting:
All of us have insights that we think constitute the bare bones for working and/or living
well. This curriculum writer gave several CERIS-PAC workshops in 1999, framing each
with the questions: What is knowledge? How do we know? The intent was to establish
that research is about gaining and applying knowledge. When people think about different
forms of knowledge their own expertise comes forward. They see more clearly how their
specialized knowledge can be placed side by side with that of potential research partners.
So, collaboration in research is about coming to agreement on more-or-less equal terms for
sharing and applying, accessing and disseminating this knowledge.

 Stop a moment and reflect on how you, and/or the group, would answer the question
 why these themes are important. The trainer and group members will bring to this
 discussion different academic, cultural and professional histories. Each participant would
 select different scholars and influences, yet the power-knowledge theme will likely ring
 true. Use this material as background, choosing whatever history or examples that make
 sense. At this point you are introducing these concepts. Keep in mind that the group will
 define collaboration, in more detail, during the workshop according to their own research
 and collaborative experiences. If the trainer plans to extend the workshop beyond the
 four hour allotment to a second session, or even a second day, then certainly allow
 the group more scope for exploring the knowledge questions.

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The following are some ideas, histories, and practices circulating within academic
circles, and some thoughts of the curriculum-writer and those of the stake-holders
interviewed, on the importance of the research-knowledge question.

Power-knowledge theory, history and practice in Academia:
Edward Said authored the book, Orientalism. In it he critiqued Orientalism, namely, the
Occidental preoccupation with imagining and colonizing the Orient. Orientalism is
partially due to the corpus of texts--written and studied and cross-referenced--that create a
rather unchangeable perception of the Orient as the Occident Self’s mysterious Other.
Orientalism is also about a material relationship built on dominance of one culture over
the other. Citing Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, Said described this colonial
relationship as cultural hegemony. Understandably Said found the 19th century
philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche, to be deeply insightful. He understood that texts are
fundamentally facts of power not about democratic exchange (1983:45).

Many fundamental world texts such as the Bible, the Koran, the Mahabharata and so on,
speak about power. Nietzsche, however, through his theories of resentment and the will to
power, propagated a radical critique of religious masters. By upholding religious beliefs--
such as, the meek shall inherit the earth, Nietzsche argued that these masters enslaved
peasants and prevented revolt against them.

Michel Foucault, a more modern prophet, expanded on this fundamental power-
knowledge critique from Marx and Nietzsche, to create an archeology of knowledge. The
Order of Things, An Archeology of the Human Sciences and The Birth of the Clinic, An
Archeology of Medical Perception are two among many examples that set forth his
discourse theory, having profound influence on many academic disciplines. Foucault
examined histories and dissemination of ideas and institutions, with special insight into
how the age of reason and rationality began to shape reform and bureaucratic institutions.
Madness, for instance, once tolerated by the community, became reconceptualized as
insanity, that is, non-reason. The bodies of the insane were first subject to torture, then
later with the creation of prison-like cells ultimately locked away to suffer internally. He
claimed in his Madness and Civilization, A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason that
this discursive history (a history of ideas or knowledge) on madness, gave birth to the
asylum. Criminals, including the poor, once made objects of public ridicule and
punishment, suffered a similar historical trajectory. Foucault, thus similarly explained in
his Discipline and Punish,The Birth of The Prison the birth of prison reform and
confinement. Power-knowledge is the key to understanding discourse theory.

Whether or not academic researchers have read Foucault, the general debate of the times
has been about power-knowledge. Philsopher Thomas Kuhn s The Structure of
Scientific Revolutions and chemist-philosopher Michael Polyani s Personal Knowledge,
Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy have critiqued the objective and rationalist claims to
knowledge, such as value-neutrality, made within the discipline of Science. Literary
criticism was deeply influenced by the work of Jacque Derrida resulting in wide-spread
familiarity with the term deconstruction. Christopher Norris Deconstruction, Theory and
Practice is a good guide. This theory seeks to render a text, to reveal its power-
knowledge claims of authority and authorship. And, a whole host of post-orientalism
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works or de-colonizing literatures stimulated discussion on The Wests knowledge and
practices towards The Third World Among these are: Said’s work; Gayatri Chakravorty
Spivaks In other worlds, Essays in Cultural Politics; Aijaz Ahmad s In Theory, Classes,
Nations, Literatures; and Gyan Prakashs Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third
World: Indian Historiography is Good to Think, found within Nicholas Dirks
anthropological compilation, Colonialism and Culture.

A brief example from the discipline of anthropology will make some of the
theoretical history above more concrete, and provide some lessons learned about
responsibility for knowledge-getting during research.

Example:

Anthropology, the study of man or humankind, took the power-knowledge theme to heart
long before many other disciplines. Ethnographers traditionally analysed and described
other cultures. They first richly portrayed so-called primitive societies     myths, beliefs,
religions, and their social systems such as kinship, economic and political life.

Anthropology has a long and complicated history. The legacy of different roots and
research preoccupations by British and European anthropologists versus American
anthropologists is seen even today. This difference is sometimes typified as one between
social and cultural, structural and symbolic study. Canadian anthropologists seem to be
hybrids! Recognition of other world anthropologists came later.

But the entire discipline was affected by the power-knowledge crisis, precipitated by
colonized nations seeking independence, the American involvement in Viet Nam, with the
revelation that some anthropologists joined the clandestine ethnographic data retrieval
system called Project Camelot Anthropology had to acknowledge its dual but
contradictory heritage: humanism and scientific colonialism. It has a deep concern for
people, yet it grew up within and alongside the growth of colonial and imperial powers.
Dell Hymes declared in the 1969 American Anthropological Association Resolution that
the two traditions were in contradiction!

Eric Wolf, a historical anthropologist, defined scientific colonialism as the process
whereby knowledge about a people is located elsewhere The lesson learned by the
discipline was that it was responsible for knowledge collected, for where and to whom it
went, and was affected by it. The discipline’s crisis forced it to ask how to proceed in its
knowledge-getting about other peoples in the world? Among this generation of
anthropologists, many were unable to resolve the question. Some turned to more
seemingly benign analysis, such as symbolic and textual studies, while others took up
applied anthropology, linking with community development projects. Still others stated
their biases and chose action, advocacy, and eventually participatory anthropologist.
Marxist and growing feminist stances were critical to this debate.

Anthropology also tried to resolve its ethnographic crisis in the context of fieldwork, by

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 bringing its humanist recognition of Self and Other into dialogue with each other. Eric
 Wolf called for rebirth. Anthropology must lose itself to find itself, must become as
 fully as possible a possession of the people of the world. Influenced by such rhetoric, my
 own 1980s York University Master's thesis was on life stories as negotiated dialogue. It
 attempted to move beyond paralysis in research and yet acknowledge with respect human
 subjects participation within it. Sherry Ortner wrote a comprehensive 1980s article on
 Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties. It is recommended further reading.

 This debate around power-knowledge challenges to deconstruct, that is, rupture the
 authorial base and academic structures that support and generate academic careers.
  These are traditionally based on expertise in doing research. In a gloss, this is the
 systematic acquisition of knowledge to create texts.

  The conclusions drawn from this discussion on power-knowledge in academia, might
 suggest that research is bad, and reason is wrong-headed. Not so! We must, however,
 stop and struggle with the power-knowledge question, and know that value-neutral
 research does not exist. We may have to decide on a case-by case basis whether to say no
 or yes to participating in research, or choose to promote one method over another. But, as
 a body of competent research grows, we are essentially accumulating the wisdoms of the
 world’s best minds. The point in collaborative research is that the best minds are as likely
 to be found in community as academia.

 Collaboration shifts the balance of power:
This takes us to the points that Ted Richmond, Administrative Coordinator of CERIS,
made about collaboration. He stated in an August 1999 interview that he believes
collaborative research is ideally way of shifting the balance of power to have productive
forms of collaboration without complete control on either side. He also sees
collaboration as a process, not a singular failure or success. So, he would like
community groups to hang in there and learn to negotiate!

 Collaboration is a process like negotiated dialogue:
 This curriculum writer's work on life story research, including the article: Broken Mirrors:
 The Deconstruction of StrawWomen, and Mutual Understanding, might help us think
 more deeply about the potential, and what is at stake, in collaboration. It will also help
 us to think about the minutia of method and why our choices to pursue negotiated
 dialogue are important.

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Example:

Even life story research, likely the most collaborative and person-centred approach, must
be seen at best as negotiated dialogue. Formally defined, this is the communicative co-
ordination of power relations in the life-story interview. In colloquial terms. It is
vying for turf in the communicative arena! (Epp [Eppheise] 1990:146).

It is important to remember that power in itself is neutral. It is a relation of forces. Power
is the ability to make a difference, to simply act. It is the application of power that causes
it to take on it moral or political character. Author Peter Newman, in a televised interview
(September 18, 1999), cited Bertrand Russells definition of power as the production of
intended effects.

Life stories as a negotiated process makes at least three claims to power:

•     Life stories map ones self into the social and dialogical world.

•     Life stories are collaborative, creating an intimate space for all.

•     Life stories do not erase the difference that still exists in the interview.

(1)       By telling life stories one’s self and one’s history is mapped into the social world.
          The story-teller is an agent whose life-stories make a difference on a daily basis in
          everyday life. Telling extends beyond description into action.

(2)       Since life stories are highly collaborative and unique among social science, they
          are to be highly valued. They create a vulnerable place of rare intimacy between
          researcher and story-teller, and show the intricate details of the inner universes of
          one or more human beings and their experiences with social reality.

          Many positive outcomes are possible from life story, and by extension,
          collaborative research. Ortiz (1985:102) has done life story research with refugees
          who have suffered extreme trauma. She has found that this research naturally
          reinforces group and family ties. This group sharing is immediately cathartic and
          the refugee experience is validated. Longer term implications are grounding in
          reality and improved family communication.

          The team researchers in the collaborative Link-to-Link: Creating Community With
          Survivors Of Torture Research Project have also discovered the good fit between
          life stories and refugees preference for interactive rather than isolated research
          communications. They called this the ethics of witnessing, and were particularly
          captured by the mirror effect between clients and volunteers, participants and
          researchers (CERIS virtual library document, 1999:3; Metropolis Proceedings,
          1997:165).

          Participants in the Link-to-Link Project included field and academic researchers,
          refugees and volunteers participating in the Befriending Programme at the
          Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT). Its address is:
          http://www.icomm.ca/ccvt/. The researchers claimed that through initial dialogue:

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          survivors told of their fear of talking and of not being listened to, the fear
          of wounding by telling, the fear of the unwanted eruption of trauma. As a
          counter-voice, volunteers talked of their fears of listening to trauma or of
          stumbling upon trauma, and not knowing how to respond; the tension
          they experienced between avoidance and fascination.

          In negotiated dialogue it is okay if the mirrors get broken. Healing and mutual
          understanding are partly what drives participation in life story research, but the
          recognition of difference is always an important starting point in any collaborative
          venture. From this each party can negotiate (as they are above) from a stronger
          stance. This takes us to the third point on power and negotiated dialogue

(3)       Negotiated dialogue arises from difference that is fundamentally situated in the
          research interview. Collaboration is possible. Because of the built-in inequality,
          however, the struggling for turf must occur!

Readers and trainers interested in looking at the applied and theoretical basis for
collaboration in research, can draw a lesson from the examples above. ALL methods and
policies are power-based. They are all derived from power-knowledge relations, found
within a knowledge-getting process. Sometimes this is more obvious than other times.

The life-story case has already been proffered, but who thinks that statistics--oh, so
tedious--are also about power. Yet any statistician will tell you that the order questions are
asked affect the answers, and in a histogram that shows a grouped frequency skewed
distribution of variables, whether one chooses to report the mode (the most frequently
repeated observation), the mean (computed average) or the median (the value which splits
the distribution in half) makes a difference.

For example:

A CBO submitted a Board Proposal to fund a skills-for-trades retraining program. Their
preferred target group was immigrant youth. To make the best case, because it has the
lowest value, they reported the mode age from their positively skewed age distribution
data. They claimed that twenty-three years is the average age representing the highest need
for retraining. Government accessors for the project, however, were mindful of the
government agenda to promote retraining for middle-aged or older immigrants. Because it
has the highest value, they made their case using the mean age from the same data. They
claimed that thirty-four years is the representative average age. They urged CBOs to
develop retraining policy towards that age group and their potential needs as they continue
to grow older. The CBO can accept the offer, or negotiate.

The example above was a hypothetical case! The example below is drawn from real life.

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Example:

A numbers debate--to determine actual gains and losses, came to head through an
internal research audit in Immigration Canada. The Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Globe And Mail concluded that Canada gave up too much, receiving little value in return
for its well-intentioned, but not well-functioning immigrant-investor program. The key
auditor, Mr. Webber, claimed that the job creation and investor benefits were inflated,
because of heavy reliance on figures provided by the fund operators and immigration
consultants. All the parties had much to gain by reporting healthy investment. This
numbers debate is really about power-knowledge.

From the standpoint of what we have learned in this workshop, what are the important
questions to ask? For one, what will the stake-holders do with the results? Mr.
Bradley, senior investment analyst, down-played Mr. Webber’s claims. He reported that
new regulations to cut fraud have been put into place. Since then no new investment has
taken place. It is difficult to accept negative press, but effective collaboration in research
will test transparency.

Another question to ask is about access. Researchers in settlement and immigration
strongly desire access to census data to build profiles and ask all kinds of questions from
it. Lucia Lo’s important study, Immigrants, Ethnic Economy and Integration: A Case
Study of Chinese in the Greater Toronto Area (1997-1998) is largely based on census
material. Access can be gained through membership in academic and research institutions,
such as CERIS. But what about citizens right to knowledge? And community access
to information about themselves?

The government holds this information in trust for the people. Still, Laine G.M. Ruus, at
the University of Toronto Data Library Service (email: dlsg@chass.utoronto.ca), would
like people to join her campaign to lobby government to make census data more
accessible. One part of this campaign is to urge government to choose less obscure
software that is readily available to all. Even when researchers have access to the
information it is unnecessarily difficult to interpret. This knowledge is thus left to the
domain of experts.

Community researchers need access to studies and statistics if they are to conduct their
own research. What they cannot get directly, must come through other sources such as
training, libraries and resource centres. Michel Ornstein has used his extensive statistical
knowledge to show income, education, employment, and home ownership profiles of
ethnic groups, to discuss the needs and successes of immigrant groups among them. He
would like to see statistical work done solely on refugees. Grouped together with
immigrant data, such studies so far do not exist. His Overview is published in another
collaborative effort, the Advisory Committee on Immigration and Refugee Issues of
Toronto, Who's Listening, The Impact of Immigration and Refugee Settlement on Toronto
Report. This completed work and a growing cluster of profiles of work in progress are
available in the CERIS Resource Centre.

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Other disciplines and collaborative practice:
Other disciplines and professions, even governments, have their own discursive histories
around gaining and applying knowledge. The globalized information age has intruded
everywhere, and has required rapid adjustment in theory and practice from all domains.
The paralysis around knowledge-getting that some disciplines wrestled with has more-or-
less moved from whether and to what effect we pursue research knowledge, to how and
with whom.

To take a stab at reading the trends, emphasis on dualities such as Self and Other, even
First and Third World, is giving way to emphasis on multi-level inter- and intra-
communication. So partnership discussions now arise between sectors like citizens,
markets and governments, and among stake holders networked within or without
organizations. Traditional sectorial and discipline-based applications are also fluid.
Citizens are called consumers in government business plans; best practice literature is
applied to non-governmental consulting; government embraces the humanist language of
partnership as it applies efficiency measures of downsizing.

For example:

Consider the borrowing of language in the Metropolis-Proceedings-Second National
Conference Tuesday, November 25, 1997 Session called, Partnerships between the
Centres and the Public Sector, the Private Sector, and Community Organizations:
Examples of Successful Initiatives. Academic researchers and others reflected on the
lessons they learned in the Link-to-Link and other collaborative projects, including policy
making in Quebec and involving the business community in immigration research.

Still, we have gained some professional ethics around the research contract. Ethics and
collaboration, recognition of diversity and multiculturalism are partial solutions to the
power-knowledge challenge. These are now advanced by: Best Practice Literature of
Business; Organizational Theory of Sociology; Diversity and Race Relations Protocols for
Professional Societies, such as The Canadian Evaluation Society; Internet Research
Networks on democratic politics of research, science and technology, such as LOKA; and
Government Partnership Strategies founding international ties, such as The Metropolis
Project.

The trainer may wish to return to this section when making reference to sending CERIS a
post-card with the Terms of Agreement for partnership. The group might choose to
send their card elsewhere, but it is a good choice for an exercise since CERIS, since its
birth, has embraced a collaborative mandate with many stakeholders. Readers and
participants may wish to send their completed cards to the CERIS Web site:
http://ceris.metropolis.globalx.net. Email links are set-up from there to CERIS
Administration, Resource Centre and Project Management.

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The Metropolis Project was a new research initiative the Department of Citizenship and
Immigration (CIC) put into place in 1995. Collaboration between universities,
government departments, and non-governmental organizations doing policy related
research on immigration was the cornerstone of its vision. Through a bid process, four
Centres of Excellence were set up across Canada. Anthony H. Richmond, in his
Immigration Policy and Research in Canada: Pure or Applied? CERIS Working Paper
Series, 1998, claimed that CIC boldly prioritized:

effects of immigration on urban economies; the impact on government and on-
governmental services; the social, cultural and political effects of immigration; the
relationship between immigration, enclaves and the urban underclass; the social
integration of young immigrants; and the impact of immigration on intergroup
attitudes and social harmony. It is not expected that the new Centres will address
all these questions but the agenda is a comprehensive one.

CERIS, the Joint Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council- Citizenship and
Immigration (SSHRC-CIC), Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and
Settlement (Toronto):

Is the creation of several ministries and departments in the Federal Government,
all of which have questions to be answered as a basis for informing the policies
they are responsible for drafting and implementing (FAQ, 1999).

The Frequently Asked Questions sheet enclosed provides more details on CERIS
partners and mandate.

CERIS is born out of several collaborative partnerships. Collaboration is fundamental to
its functioning organizational identity:

By collaborative partnerships" CERIS means that both university research
partners and their community research partners will have well-defined roles in the
proposed research projects. It does not mean that a community organization
writes a letter of support and then has no further input into the project. An
example of a good collaborative partnership may involve academics from two
different universities who are interested in a research project involving a specific
group of immigrant children, the school board that educates those children, and
perhaps a parents' or community group. The academics, school board
representatives, and community representatives would be involved in various
aspects of the proposed work: defining research questions, collecting data,
disseminating results. Or it may involve an interagency network that recruits
academics from universities to assist in identifying which of the various projects it
is considering are likely to have the most successful outcomes. The agency's role
may be to define what is meant by "successful outcomes, to recruit participants,
and publish results in their newsletter, the university's role may be to design and
implement the research, analyze the data, and write the final report. All of this
may be done in on-going or sequential collaboration, depending on the mutual
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 wishes of the partners (FAQ 1999).

 The CERIS Partnership Advisory Council (CERIS-PAC) Training project, meant to
 attend to community needs and capacity-building, is housed within CERIS programming.
 CERIS negotiated with SSHRC, which normally flows money to university-based
 researchers, and was awarded a guarantee that 10% of research dollars would go to
 community-based researchers. The professional training workshops drew on this
 guarantee.

 In sum: we are all talking about collaboration! The possibility of win/win situations
 evokes warm feelings, and that is good. They can set a powerful direction for positive and
 productive human relations. It is very easy, however, to let go of hard-earned insights into
 the power-knowledge struggle. The anthropology example is important to reflect on. If
 the struggle to be aware of our contradictory heritages--like humanism and scientific
 colonialism--in knowledge-getting ceases, where will we end up? Rather than an antidote
 for the will to power, when the chips are down, collaboration will remain a nice but
 discarded idea.

 Collaboration between CBOs and researchers:
The following segment recaps the discussion above on research as knowledge-getting and
applies it to doing and defining collaboration. It addresses CBOs and a researcher answers
to the knowledge questions: what is knowledge? and how do we know? It also covers CBO
workers as culture and knowledge brokers, capable of doing and directing research.

 The theory section may be too detailed for some. It is there to stimulate deeper thought
 and to provide background to the power-knowledge debates. But, read this section for a
 simple review and important basis for workshop discussion!

By helping people to think about research as knowledge-getting, the magician's cloak
surrounding methods and processes, and the magician's spell residing in buzz words and
technical jargon are removed. The magician's claim--made, implicitly or explicitly, by the
consultant, researcher, government bureaucrat, even CBO settlement worker--to be an
expert or a knowledge-wizard, is open for discussion.

Entering into dialogue is a significant antidote to lopsided practice and conclusions in all
forms of research. John Shields, a long term CERIS board member, and a political scientist
involved in collaborative research on immigrant youth, describes collaboration as a real
learning experience that provides different angles and unexpected results. CBO workers
help to push the research in different directions, and open up avenues that researchers
may not have considered. Kenise Kilbride, a CERIS colleague, deems collaboration to be
very important, because it grounds the research in the lived experience of those who are
most intimately involved in what is being studied Judith Bernhard, another interviewee,
stated it another way. Collaboration creates a space where dialogue can begin.

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Much ground can be covered through such discussion, and if it goes well a more confident
group of people can emerge. CBO workers, for instance, see how much knowledge they
deal with on a daily basis. The trainer can help boost their confidence by encouraging them
to take credit for the detailed applied and interpretative work that they do. Since research is
about using and gaining knowledge, CBOs that identify their grounded knowledge will
build the confidence to strike out on their own, or at least know that they have stronger
grounds for exchange and negotiation. One CBO workshop participant claimed that they
may collaborate but they aren’t partners.

 Challenge:

 Need they accept the funding and proposal guidelines as first stated? Are they really
 set in stone? Could they do a little magic of their own, and redefine the funding and
 research contracts in a way that makes more sense? Do they, in fact, have to drop
 their identity as advocates for a safer middle ground to be funded? What kind of
 partners do they want to be? and work with? What are the non-negotiables?

 This workshop will make clear that many researchers and consultants do not fit the stereo-
 types. Sheilds stated the latter may have a different use for research results than CBOs,
 but they likely agree on the main issues. In the ideal sense he sees the researcher as a
 natural advocate. CBOs will want the researcher to advocate, that is, pass on knowledge
 about them to a wider, and sometimes specific, audience. They also want the researcher to
 provide the pre-digested research findings to reflect on where they are at, guide them in
 making necessary changes, and use to inform others about their ideas and work. Ana
 Maria Revilla, a community worker with strong consultancy skills, makes a similar point.
 She personally welcomes researchers in the field, if they end up confirming what people
 on the front lines have been saying all along. But she won’t be surprised if all of this good
 intent fades away. Why would CIC and other Government departments want to fund
 research that has radical implications for their practice?

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