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Mackie, Vera Prof.

Director, Centre for Critical Human Rights Research

  • Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies - School of Humanities and Social Inquiry

Research Overview


Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Editor Of


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Available as Research Supervisor

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Mediascapes national imaginaries: LGBT characters media in Vietnam Nguyen, Thi Huyen Linh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Reading and Re-creating: the Adaption of Shōnen Manga in Thailand Krairit, Thammachat
    Doctor of Philosophy 'Does the J mean Japanese or G (J)enre?': An examination of Japanese Role Playing Games Baillie, Angus
    Doctor of Philosophy Japanese Responses to Refugees Yamagata, Atsushi

Professional Service Activities


Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • H-3805-2016

Research Overview


Selected Publications


Editor Of


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Mediascapes national imaginaries: LGBT characters media in Vietnam Nguyen, Thi Huyen Linh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Reading and Re-creating: the Adaption of Shōnen Manga in Thailand Krairit, Thammachat
    Doctor of Philosophy 'Does the J mean Japanese or G (J)enre?': An examination of Japanese Role Playing Games Baillie, Angus
    Doctor of Philosophy Japanese Responses to Refugees Yamagata, Atsushi

Professional Service Activities


Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • H-3805-2016
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Geographic Focus