Many scientific research projects carried out in developing countries gather data and fail to return any summary of the findings to the community that provided the data. Residents from communities experiencing water issues are therefore deprived of effective participation in the use of findings, since communities might be seen as only a source of data. Indigenous writers have revealed the injustice of this reality and have suggested that this is typical of colonial or ‘colonising’ research methods. It is concerning because accessing research knowledge encourages communities to examine their issues and empowers them to formulate solutions. Inspired by decolonising methodologies, we explored different ‘decolonising’ approaches to returning research findings to participant communities using the results of a recent water research project conducted in Ndola, Copperbelt Province, Zambia. In this case study, we describe participant communities experience regarding access to research findings and conclude that face-to-face discussion is the preferred approach to returning water research findings in Ndola.

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