Leading a qualitative review in Bangladesh: Girls at school, with funding from Norway

Year: 2002

Author: Rhedding-Jones, Jeanette

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The paper presents some of the problems and results of working between cultures and languages on a project regarding teenage girls and young women at school in Bangladesh. It follows my work as an Australian researcher, international consultant and team leader (for the Female Secondary Education Stipend Project, final review 2001), with funding from the Norwegian government. As such the paper analyses the practices and policy arising from international attempts to (1) get girls going to school and (2) keep them going to school. Bangladesh is ranked number one on world corruption scales, with acute poverty and illiteracy, and the status of women affected by class division and religion. Institutionalised education is problematic. Working with two Bangladeshi consultants (a man economist and a woman sociologist) I conducted fieldwork in Bangladeshi schools, interviewed (with a translator) students, teachers and father/guardians; and liased with Bangladeshi Government and Education Department officials, World Bank and Asian Development Bank consultants and representatives from local Non-Government Organisations. The resultant two volume written review (Rhedding-Jones et al , 2001, now published, 2002) recommended the continuation of the Norwegian donor project into another phase. It also presented a range of information, photographs, critiques and deconstructions. For a theorising researcher to undertake such work requests some professional relocations.