Long-Term Solutions for a Short-Term World
Canada and Research Development
Paper 246 pp.
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Long-Term Solutions for a Short-Term World demonstrates the complexity of the challenges that poor countries face and introduces the readers to the concept and impact of participatory research for development. Participatory research requires researchers to work with communities, governments, and other relevant actors to deal with common problems. Finding solutions requires participants to reflect critically on the cultural, economic, historical, political, and social contexts within which the issue under investigation exists.
The book contains a collection of essays from development researchers and professionals, each of whom is an activist who has made significant contributions to the struggles of the poor in their own societies. Essays are presented as case studies and, in each, the contributor explains the specific development problem, the paths followed to solve the problem, lessons learned as a result of the research, and the development challenges on the horizon in his field of research. Together, these essays present a fascinating picture of how some of today’s most pressing development issues are being dealt with through research, demonstrating how interdisciplinary and alternative approaches can be implemented in new and innovative ways.
Ronald N. Harpelle is a historian and filmmaker. He is the author of The West Indians of Costa Rica and has written extensively about the West Indian diaspora in Central America. He is the co-author, with Bruce Muirhead, of IDRC: 40 Years of Ideas, Innovation, and Impact (WLU Press). Harpelle and Muirhead¿s research on IDRC appears in the documentary Citoyens du Monde/Citizens of the World. Ron Harpelle is also the director of In Security, a documentary film about barbed wire and boundaries and the co-director of Banana Split, a documentary about Canada’s favourite fruit.
Bruce Muirhead is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo and the associate dean, Graduate Studies and Research. He is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He has written extensively on post–Second World War Canadian commercial, economic, and political history.
“This book provides a uniquely insightful account of Canada’s special contribution to the profound changes that have occurred in the role of international development in a changing world. It is a story few Canadians know but of which all can be proud. Yesterday’s poorer developing countries, notably China and India, have become the most rapidly developing economies and are experiencing both the benefits and the accompanying environmental and social problems. Canada showed early leadership in supporting the research and development that is the key to the success of a knowledge economy. The experiences and news of the developing-country experts documented in this book demonstrate how Canada’s modest investments made a disproportionate contribution to development and influenced the programs and policies of others.”
— The Honourable Maurice F. Strong, P.C., C.C., LL.D., Honorary Professor, Peking University