Many Laurier researchers lead or participate in projects involving international partners, sometimes multiple international partners. Whether the partnerships are with grassroots organizations in the Global South or with United Nations bodies, Laurier researchers carefully consider partners' priorities, cultural appropriateness and local realities. The goal is to produce work that benefits local communities, international partners, Canadians and sometimes the whole world.
The following is a sampling of some of our recent and ongoing international research.
Professor Alison Blay-Palmer is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies. A globally recognized expert in sustainable food systems, she is also founding director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (LCSFS) and the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) partnership. Blay-Palmer and her colleagues, who include faculty and students from Laurier and other institutions, work with partners around the world on building food systems that are fair, ecologically regenerative, healthy and community-driven.
Laurier’s International Migration Research Centre (IMRC) is one of Canada’s foremost hubs for research on the international governance of migration, mobilities, critical border issues, diaspora and development, displacement, labour migration, transnationalism, human security, and migrants’ human and labour rights. Based at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, its members include faculty and students from Laurier and several universities in Canada and around the world. Much of the IMRC’s research is conducted with partners around the world, and its work has concretely influenced policy and practice on the international stage.
The Laurier-led Educator and Leadership Institute (ELI) fulfils three major needs: training for teachers in the Global South, international field placement opportunities for Laurier education students, and research on how best to improve teaching practices in the Global South. Associate Professor Steve Sider began the ELI in Haiti in 2016 and is leading research on the impact of professional learning on educators there. The research considers barriers to the effective implementation of new teaching practices and how to overcome them. The ELI operates in partnership with teachers from various school boards in Canada and industrial partner Desire2Learn. The project now operates in Nepal and Egypt as well as in Haiti and there are plans to expand to more countries including Ethiopia and Kenya.
Associate Professor Jason Neelis is working to preserve ancient rock drawings, inscriptions, and what could be described as travellers’ graffiti in northern Pakistan. In partnership with Pakistani and international collaborators, he is documenting thousands of Upper Indus petroglyphs and inscriptions using the latest in modern-day technology. The multilingual inscriptions and depictions of various religions and cultures reflect the area’s long history as a hub for migration and trade. By recording them digitally and promoting their physical preservation, Neelis is working to make the petroglyphs and inscriptions accessible to scholars and the general public as well as increase understanding of their cultural and historical context.
Ayacucho, Peru, was once the centre of armed conflict between the Shining Path guerilla organization and the Peruvian government. Though the Shining Path declined in the 1990s, Associate Professor Eliana Barrios Suarez says legacies of violence and resilience remain. One of these legacies is the community’s expressed desire to prevent further gendered violence. With local partners, Barrios Suarez created a training program, with variations to meet the needs of different groups, that encourages bystanders to safely act to help prevent sexual violence and harassment.