Table 2. Qualitative description of participation by indigenous stakeholders in students’ field research projects in Mexico and Tanzania.

Decision-making stage Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo, Mexico Noonkodin Secondary School, Tanzania
1. Initiation (identification of needs and goals) Student projects are initiated collaboratively by Maya community members (both within and outside the formal education system) and students, focusing on local needs and priorities Student projects are initiated collaboratively by Maasai community members (within the formal education system only), visiting interns, and students, toward the global goal of biocultural diversity conservation
 
2. Design of research A participatory approach is taken, allowing for input from community members (within and outside the formal education system) and students, focusing on local needs and priorities Research methods are selected by two Maasai staff members in boundary spanner roles (part-time project coordinator and full-time environmental studies teacher) in consultation with visiting interns
 
3. Implementation of research Community members (within and outside the formal education system) act as key informants and guide the implementation of student research projects The project coordinator and environmental studies teacher (see above) assist students with data collection and analysis. Community members outside the formal education system, e.g., Maasai herbalists, act as key informants but do not provide implementation advice
 
4. Reflection (individual project assessment and/or overall program evaluation) Community members (within and outside the formal education system) and sabios locales, who have equivalent status to formally trained faculty, participate in assessing the individual research projects Individual research projects are assessed by the environmental studies teacher; values-based indicators for program evaluation are selected by a visiting intern after consultation with the project coordinator
 
5. Communication of findings and achievements Diverse stakeholders within the wider community (which includes local rural community members, sabios locales, the university, government and nongovernmental organization funders of projects, and professionals with relevant expertise) are all involved, as appropriate, in disseminating research findings and applying them to practical problems Very limited dissemination to date; the head teacher of the school (also ethnically Maasai, i.e., a boundary spanner) is planning to present evaluation findings at a forthcoming regional education conference, which may open up new opportunities for engagement with policy makers at local and national levels