Once again, I tagged along on a trip to Detroit with the D-CREW, a community based participatory research project aimed at developing strategies to improve housing and thereby reduce wasteful water and energy use in Detroit communities.
This weeks data collection efforts focused on the Jefferson-Chalmers area of Detroit, just adjacent to Gross Pointe.
Data collection went as smoothly as before, but with a more affluent and sophisticated group of people the vast majority of whom own their own homes.
The informational session became quickly energized, with participants asking pointed questions like “how is this research going to benefit us?” “are you going to sell our data?” “is my cousin going to be able to see my data?”
Doing research in the communities of Detroit is every bit as exciting and engaging as doing work in Kenya, where researchers are rightly met with skepticism, the goals of the research are obscure, and the direct benefits likely non-existent.