Real-time research: decolonising research practices – or just another spectacle of researcher–practitioner collaboration?

This article examines the experiences and outcomes from collaboration between a group of researchers and a Northern NGO to improve recovery work in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. A Real-Time Research methodology was established to follow and intervene in the recovery practices as they took place on the ground. What was learned and achieved through this collaboration is assessed, with particular reference to the relationships between various stakeholders in the collaboration.