New DLP research fellows
We are delighted to welcome two new research fellows to the DLP team at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
Gillian Fletcher has more than 15 years’ experience of working in, researching, and evaluating the field of international development, and her PhD research examined the gaps between rhetoric and practice in HIV prevention in Myanmar. She is Senior Reviews Editor for the Culture, Health and Sexuality journal, and a member of the Australian Council for International Development University Network Committee.
Tait Brimacombe has relocated from the University of Adelaide where she is in the final stages of completing her PhD; her dissertation explores the intersection of communication for development (C4D) and gender in the Pacific.
Over the next two years, both will be working alongside DLP’s Senior Research Partner Chris Roche, Director of La Trobe’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change. Their considerable expertise in the Indo-Pacific region will help reinforce DLP’s strong ties there. Proposed research for the La Trobe team includes the examination of developmental leadership and coalitions, particularly around issues of women’s involvement in political processes, and strengthening capacity for development through communication.
Gillian and Tait are committed to participatory research, and also hope to be involved in outreach work with 'communities of practice', to both share research findings with practitioners and engage them in shaping research priorities and providing feedback on findings.
Gillian has used action research methods and reflective learning in her extensive work on sexuality and gender, HIV prevention, AIDS care and support, and civil society capacity strengthening. She says:
Having started my working life as a journalist, I have never lost my sense of curiosity about people; what they do, why, and how. I’m particularly interested in the times when ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’; those times when people bring their skills, their resilience and their passion to making things better. For me, one of the most exciting things about being part of DLP is that I will get to work with people in developing countries to help them reflect on what they do well, and how they can build on that.
Tait has worked as a researcher with the Applied Communication Collaborative Research Unit (ACCRU), playing a role in two significant projects: a systematic review of communication for development in fragile states funded by AusAid (now DFAT), and a crisis communication project with the Australian Civil Military Centre, investigating the role of social media and social networking in complex emergences.
Her aim is to continue her research in the Pacific region with the IHSSC and its DLP team, with an emphasis on work that makes local ownership a priority and promotes inclusive dialogue and information-sharing. She says:
I am hoping to be able to explore young women's networking, advocacy and activism in the Pacific, particularly the interplay between online and offline spaces. My other focus is to look for ways to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice, through the use of action research techniques.