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Engaging With Overseas Governments

Module 2 Lesson 4: Banner - Engaging with overseas governments

You may want to engage with overseas governments, and again, although this differs from country to country, guidance on how to do it can be found online for most governments (for example, the Getting Involved page for the Australian Parliament). However, some countries are less transparent about how they work with researchers and evidence. In these cases, you will need to be guided by your in-country partners and your own ethics, depending on the advice you are given. In some cases, you may need to work via local researchers or other intermediaries, for example, national charities and think tanks.

Lesson 4 Engaging with Overseas Government 02

It is important to assess the risks of working with governments that do not wish to be scrutinised or questioned, especially by outsiders. In these cases, researchers often work with international NGOs or UN agencies to challenge policies or tackle issues directly, rather than working via national governments. These organisations will be able to advise on the risks of engagement. In most cases, the worst consequence for researchers is being denied future entry to the country (which could of course be disastrous for your research, if you need to gain access to collect data for your research). However, there have been cases of researchers being imprisoned for espionage or disappearing altogether.