FIWON is a network at PRIO that aims to develop and promote competence on fieldwork-based research. The network was established in 2004 and operates through regular seminars that address specific methodological or ethical aspects of doing fieldwork. Fieldwork, in this context, can be thought of as substantial face-to-face contact between researchers and social actors. This includes participant observation, interviews, or other forms of interaction. Many PRIO researchers do various forms of fieldwork in their research, including fieldwork in conflict zones.
The seminars are internal events at PRIO, but colleagues from other institutions can be invited to present or participate in discussions. FIWON facilitates discussions about ways of doing research, as opposed to the findings of research. Fieldwork related to conflict and peace may present special challenges, for instance related to ethics and security. FIWON addresses specific conflict-related fieldwork issues, as well as more general fieldwork concerns such as interpersonal relations in the field, or the meaning of 'informed consent' in different settings.
Topics that have been addressed in FIWON seminars include the following:
• Using interpreters in fieldwork
• Cooperating with NGOs in the field
• Managing interview data
• Doing multi-sited fieldwork
• Combining quantitative and qualitative data
• Negotiating trust and distance in field relations
• Research ethics in theory and in the field
FIWON is coordinated by Marte Nilsen.