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Natural Justice – Cape Town Office – Skill and Information Sharing Session – March 2016.

The Cape Town Office of Natural Justice, joined by Nayana Udayashankar, from our India office, via the internet, hosted its third monthly Skill and Information Sharing Session on 3 March 2016. This time we were honoured with the presence of Dr Laura Foster, Gender Studies, Indiana University Bloomington. Dr. Foster has expertise in science and technology studies, feminist and critical race legal theory, post-colonial feminisms, and feminist research methodologies. She is a research partner on NJs ‘Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge Systems Related to Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights’ Project.

Dr Foster shared with the team her skill of grounded theory coding which could be very helpful in processing volumes of information. She explained that coding helps in narrowing down the scope of sometimes a very wide range of knowledge that we so often have to work through, to extract main points or core themes in one’s work. Grounded theory allows one to consider issues from the ‘bottom-up’, to assist in constructing community meanings. Dr. Foster also stressed that although a variety of sources can be analysed using this methodology, e.g. interviews, publications, Parliamentary Bills, email and correspondence, indeed multiple sources are beneficial however triangulation is essential.

Developing coding, as a skill within Natural Justice will enhance our capacity to analyse the multiple sources of information we encounter during our work in a more systematic way.
We look forward to further integrating this methodology within thematic areas such as land, customary law, climate change, amongst others.

4 March 2016

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