I visited Bangladesh for ten weeks in the spring, joining the team at ICCCAD as a visiting researcher and volunteer for CBA 07, whilst completing my masters research. My overall experience was fruitful and rewarding, though it held many challenges throughout. My masters research examines the impact of global climate change knowledge for local climate change adaptation. This includes investigation into how knowledge is shared between vulnerable communities and external stakeholders, and how this knowledge impacts viewpoints and actions within such communities. Researching alongside ICCCAD was extremely beneficial for this project. As a knowledge platform itself, it provided the perfect base from which to reach the appropriate contacts and participants for my research. The ICCCAD partners I met with were incredibly helpful, providing me with rich and detailed information on how they each operate. Moreover, they provided advice and support for my local level field research.
Bangladesh is a challenging place to visit as a first time researcher. I found myself suddenly in an exciting, yet intense, environment, managing with a very limited knowledge of the local language. Ongoing hartals and the onset of cyclone Mahasen meant that flexibility was key to achieving my goals. Yet, though these obstacles initially seemed daunting, the support provided by ICCCAD alongside my own determination, meant that I completed my research whilst also gaining a fuller understanding of the context of my study. I connected with a couple of different translators who provided the language support I needed. These were my assistants in the field and were pivotal to the success of my research. My colleagues and contacts at ICCCAD assisted me with organising some of the more practical arrangements, such as accommodation and connections, and provided advice and updates on the political situation and how best to act. As such, I was in safe hands working with ICCCAD, and felt I had the support necessary to complete my research in a safe and professional manner.
As a visiting researcher with ICCCAD, I have been provided with a wealth of opportunities, not only in terms of making connections with other climate change professionals and organisations, but also through direct involvement in contributing to reports and articles of benefit to both those organisations and myself. As such it was a reciprocal opportunity: I was provided with support and in turn contributed to ICCCAD’s ongoing knowledge base. I certainly hope to be able to continue working with ICCCAD beyond my masters. I anticipate collaboration with them in the future to reach shared goals.