Barefoot Research Initiative in Nepal
The project aimed to support Nepali grassroots activists who had the necessary knowledge and experiences but came from non-academic backgrounds, in writing and articulating their stories and research for publication.
- ‘Writing as an Activism’: Barefoot Research Initiative in Nepal [read more]
- “Writing for Advocacy”: The Barefoot Research Initiative in the Madhesh Province of Nepal [read more]
- Writing as activism: the Barefoot Research Initiative in Nepal [read more]A webinar explaining the Barefoot Research Initiative, part of the 'decolonizing methodologies' lecture series at the University of East Anglia, UK.
Thank you to Ramya Zwaal, who conducted an initial interview with Sohan Prasad Sha, and whose efforts have helped to make these insights accessible.
The project had three aims: to decentralise knowledge production away from Kathmundu, the capital of Nepal, towards under-researched regions; to challenge the assumption that social science research can only take place in an academic setting; and to make research socially inclusive and accessible to grassroots activists from non-academic, underprivileged backgrounds who face barriers to participating in traditional academic settings. These barriers include access to research funding, mentorship, language, and caste barriers.
Grassroots activists have excellent data and experiences that can contribute to the Nepali research field.
What it means
The project matters because of the weak status of higher education and academic research in Nepal, particularly in the social sciences and humanities at a regional level. The Barefoot Initiative provides a frugal way to bring social issues in under-researched regional areas of Nepal into mainstream public interest.
How to use
- Engaging local, grassroots activists in research can raise awareness of local issues, and provides fresh ideas and data for policymakers, particularly at a local government level