The EAR Handbook has been developed through a number of iterations since its invention in 2002, and here I attempt to attribute and acknowledge all of those who have played a part in its development and authoring to date.
Ethnographic Action Research was born from a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded project in 2002. That work was conducted by Don Slater and Peter Lewis of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Jo Tacchi of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). At that stage EAR was presented as a suggestion for a methodology for the evaluation of ICT for development initiatives, in the annex of a report to DFID.
The first iteration of EAR in a published form was possible due to funding from UNESCO, and the application and further development of EAR through its application in the ‘Putting ICTs into the Hands of the Poor' or ictPR project . That represented a collaboration between UNESCO, nine local ICT initiatives each with a local EAR researcher, Don Slater of the LSE, and Jo Tacchi of QUT, who was at that time (2003) a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII). Within UNESCO Ian Pringle was a key driver for the development of EAR and Savithri Subramanian co-ordinated its application across 9 sites in South Asia.
As a result a handbook was written by Jo Tacchi, Don Slater and Greg Hearn (QUT) and published by UNESCO in 2003. It would not have been possible to produce the handbook without the inputs of Ian and Savithri and the local EAR researchers; Utpal K. Bajracharya, Anuradha Bajracharya, Debobroto Chakraborty, Karma Tshering Bhutia, Jhulan Ghose, Jhumpa Ghosh Ray, Sarita Sharma, Brig. (Retd.) Maindiratta, Seema B. Nair, Dr Gnanalakshmi, Sister Arulmary, Dr Senthilkumar and Lasanthi Daskon.
In 2005 Equal Access approached Jo Tacchi to provide training in EAR to its staff in Nepal. With important inputs from Tanya Notley the EAR handbook was revisited and revised, and important lessons learned for its further improvement.
In 2006 a large research project called Finding a Voice: Making Technological Change Socially Effective and Culturally Empowering (FaV) was funded by UNESCO, UNDP and the Australian Research Council. Jo Tacchi, Emma Baulch and Kirsty Martin from QUT and Andrew Skuse and Joann Fildes from University of Adelaide worked on further revising the handbook and training a new network of EAR researchers in India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Importantly at this stage Jo Fildes added participatory techniques to the EAR handbook. Joann, Emma and Kirsty worked closely with 12 local EAR researchers to train them in EAR and support their EAR work across 15 distinct ICT initiatives. Kirsty Martin restructured section 4. Andrew Skuse brings his experience in monitoring and evaluation to EAR. Seema B Nair and Karma Tshering Bhutia worked within UNESCO to drive and support the EAR work in South Asia. Kiran MS the FaV Regional Research Coordinator, supported the EAR researchers in South Asia from his base in Delhi and has provided particularly interesting insights into the everyday use of EAR in FaV.
All of these people and more made it possible for the current network of EAR researchers to operate, and this CD ROM version of the EAR Handbook to be produced. In particular Emma Baulch trained and supported EAR work in Indonesia, Joann Fildes trained and supported EAR work in India and Sri Lanka, and Kirsty Martin trained and supported EAR work in Nepal. They and the EAR researchers themselves have contributed examples and significant insights and learning to this iteration of the Handbook. The EAR researchers were: Aseem Asha Usman, Atul Sharma, Boediyanto, Deepak Koirala, Govinda Acharya, Jancy Francis, Kosala Keerthirathne, Munsir Salam, Rupa Pandey, Sita Adhikari, Srinivas Bangaru, Suhardi, Suram Sasrika Pahalagama, and Tanweer Azam.
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Jo Tacchi, Joann Fildes, Kirsty Martin, Kiran Mulenahalli, Emma Baulch and Andrew Skuse. 2007
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