Research is a Missed Opportunity in Maasailand.
- A need for greater accountability to the local community under study
Maasailand is one of the most studied places on earth, and yet the Maasai community is often alienated from research that takes place in their home. There is typically no collaboration between researchers and community structures of authority, no reporting of research findings, and the lack of communication creates mistrust, as community members assume that knowledge is sought only for the use of outsiders and not for the people who share the land.
- Lack of Services and Guidelines for Researchers
Historically, scholars undertaking research in Maasailand have lacked services and clear guidelines on how to conduct research in this region. With no operating field stations, researchers must find their own accommodations and transportation, and exist largely outside of the web of the Maasai community, locating translators and guides of varying quality on their own.
- Missed Opportunity
A tremendous potential exists to create knowledge through collaboration by bringing the best of western science and technology to the study of Maasailand but only if Maasai knowledge and sciences are equally valued by all parties, and guidelines are agreed to by all parties.