Challenges and Limitations of Conducting Research in a Newly Independent Country

By Rebekah Nagel.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As the newest nation in Southeast Asia, Timor Leste has faced many challenges including as a former colony of Portugal for five hundred years, invasion and occupation by Indonesia for twenty-four years beginning in 1975, a United Nations mission begun in 1999 and finally transition to independence in 2002. Timor Leste remains amongst the poorest countries in the world, providing a distinctive and exigent environment in which to conduct research. This paper considers the challenges and limitations of conducting research in Timor Leste under these conditions by examining the major development issues Timor currently faces. This in turn presents a unique setting for researchers interested in pursuing field work in a newly independent/post-conflict environment. Issues of cultural sensitivity, cross-cultural research and language and interpretation deliberations are discussed, to justify the necessity of conducting research in Timor Leste in order to improve knowledge of the many Timorese living in a newly independent/post-conflict environment.

Keywords: Development Aid, Timor Leste, Cross-cultural Research

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 370.698KB).

Rebekah Nagel

PhD Candidate, Division of Education, Arts & Social Sciences, School of Communication, International Studies & Languages, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Australia and is interested in Australian development aid, research in newly independent and post-conflict environments, Non-Governmental Organizations and gender and development in Southeast Asia.


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