The institute regularly organizes interaction programswith the local respondents and community people to share the research findings and to receive feedback about their concerns. A small group of respondents representing various ethnic groups, gender and geographic locations are invited and debriefed about the on-going programs of the institute.
The Third Respondent Interaction Program
The Third Respondent Interaction Program was organized on June 12, 2010 in Fulbari, Chitwan. The goals of this program were to introduce the respondents to the institute, its goal and working approaches; to update them on various research programs; to share preliminary findings generated through the on-going research activities; and to discuss the concerns of the respondents. A total of 20 respondents (6 women and 14 men), from different ethnic backgrounds and occupations, representing various locations of the study site, attended the program.
First, along with the introduction of the institute, its goal and working approaches -research, capacity building, and policy feedback and program intervention-the program was focused, in general, on the significance of high quality research on education, policy formulation and development. The presentations also highlighted the need for and the importance of the complex multi-level longitudinal panel nature of our on-going social and environmental research programs at the institute. These presentations also include the discussion of research process, the value of respondent’s responses in knowledge generation, and the practice of maintaining respondent’s confidentiality in every step of the research process.
Second, an observational tour of data entry and questionnaire storage facility was organized. The participants expressed their happiness after seeing the safely stored stack of surveys that they have been responding to since the last 15 years and the procedure we have adopted to maintain their confidentiality.
Finally, findings from social and environmental research conducted during the last 15 years and their potential implications on education and social development policy were discussed.
The participants were very excited to see the results obtained through their own responses and actively participated in the discussion. Participants expressed their concerns about the use of information they provided for the last 15 years and asked the institute to advocate for policy formulation as well as to initiate some evidence-based community developmental initiatives in the area. This would help them give a sense of the benefits of the research. Some requested ISER-N to share publications and reports on a regular basis with them. Another suggestion was to highlight the use of this research in the educational curriculum.
We found this interaction program to be very useful to both the participants as well as the institute.