A reflection on positionality and knowledge processes in transdisciplinary research


  • Ruth Peters


knowledge, research, development, positionality, transdisciplinary research, reflectivity, development studies, disability


The Stigma Assessment and Reduction of Impact (SARI) project aims to reduce stigma and improve the lives of people affected by leprosy in Cirebon District, Indonesia. The project team includes staff from different scientific disciplines from universities in the global North and South. Members of society participate in several ways in the project. The SARI project is transdisciplinary in the sense that frames, approaches, and methods from different disciplines and local knowledge are combined to co-create knowledge on the reduction of leprosy-related stigma. In this short story I reflect on my own positionality: my baggage and position in the research. I share several realisations about the path I have travelled to where I am today – a researcher in the SARI project – which I believe could be relevant for others. It highlights that understanding one’s own positionality should be encouraged in transdisciplinary research as it can help break down barriers for knowledge processes.