Researcher’s Retreat – Drawing Lessons from and for B40 Studies, 9 July 2018

KITA Principal Fellow Prof. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria was invited to participate in a two-day workshop hosted by UKM – B40 Research Consortium on July 9 and 10, 2018 at Bangi-Putrajaya Hotel. The workshop chair, Prof Datin Dr Norizan Abdul Razak (Director of the UKM Tun Fatimah Hashim Women Leadership Centre) said the 2 day event was hosted to encourage UKM researchers to creatively identify specific areas for research and study on B40 families and communities in a multi-dimensional way. About 30 UKM lectures and post graduate students gathered for this time of sharing and learning with the view of drawing up new research proposals.

On the first day Prof Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria of KITA-UKM presented a paper entitled “Researching B40 communities & lessons learnt for ongoing policy research & advocacy”. This presentation focused on four of the research projects he had coordinated between 2012 and 2018. Of the four studies two of these focused on B40 communities especially those residing in high rise flats. The remaining two were on high risk youths living in high rise flats.

For each of these studies he provided details pertaining to the objective of the studies, methodology employed and the findings. He further highlighted lessons learnt and the direction future B40 research could undertake. A majority of the findings were published in the UKM Ethnic Studies paper series.

In this context he also raised matters pertaining to defining B40s as well as highlighted the need for further work on the multidimensional poverty indicator (MPI) and measurements. He advocated to shift the study beyond income measurement to incorporate other dimensions such as health, education, housing, safety, participation.

He finally concluded calling on future research on B40 families and communities to adopt the sustainable development goals (SDGs) especially the multi-dimensional thrust such as poverty (SDG1), health & wellbeing (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), decent work (SDG8), reducing inequality (SDG10), addressing consumption concerns (SDG12), environmental concerns (SDG13), issues pertaining to peace, conflict & governance (SDG16) and finally partnership with all stakeholders (SDG17).

There was a very fruitful discussion after the presentation including many suggestions to improve the field of enquiry such as adding research variables such as mental health concerns, psychological behaviour, spirit of self-help, alcohol related issues and community living.

Reported by:
Prof. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria
10 July 2018