As academic collaborations become increasingly virtual and geographically widespread, researchers are faced with novel challenges, as well as opportunities, as they attempt to create equitable, effective research partnerships. In this essay, the authors highlight the importance of shared reflexive conversations in building a strong foundation for collaboration and the coproduction of knowledge, particularly in the midst of ongoing crises. In so doing, they reflect on their experience of planning research on social innovation in small-scale fishing communities in Africa and Asia, as a team spread across six countries.
Mahmudul Islam is an assistant professor in the Department of Coastal and Marine Fisheries at Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh. He received his PhD from the University of Bremen in Germany. His PhD research contextualized poverty and vulnerability in the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities in Bangladesh. With a background in marine science, oceanography, and fisheries development studies, Islam is an interdisciplinary marine social scientist with interests in coastal social-ecological systems. He has more than 10 years of experience in conducting research on coastal communities, small-scale fisheries, and marine conservation in Bangladesh. Some of his works focused on policy and marine management, thus he has gathered experiences in working at the science-policy-interface. His recent research interests include marine protected areas governance, climate change impacts, and disaster risk reduction in coastal Bangladesh. Recently he led a research project on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines) in Bangladesh’s small-scale fisheries.