Knowledge as a resource: enhancing the democratisation of knowledge production in transdisciplinary research partnerships for sustainable development

Ott, Cordula (2014). Knowledge as a resource: enhancing the democratisation of knowledge production in transdisciplinary research partnerships for sustainable development (Unpublished). In: Earth System Governance 2014 Norwich Conference. Norwich, UK. 01.-03.07.2014.

Better access to knowledge and knowledge production has to be reconsidered as key to successful individual and social mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change. Indeed, concepts of sustainable development imply a transformation of science (Lubchenco 1998; WBGU 2011 and 2012) towards fostering democratisation of knowledge production as a contribution to the development of knowledge societies as a strategic goal (UNESCO 2005). This means to open the process of scientific knowledge production while simultaneously empowering people to implement their own visions for sustainable development. Advocates of sustainability science support this transformation. In transdisciplinary practice, they advance equity and accountability in the access to and production of knowledge at the science–society interface (Hirsch Hadorn et al 2006; Hirsch Hadorn et al 2008; Jäger 2009; Adger and Jordan 2009; KFPE 2012). UNESCO (2010) points to advancements, yet Northern dominance persists in knowledge production as well as in technology design and transfer (Standing and Taylor 2007; Zingerli 2010). Further, transdisciplinary practice remains experimental and hampered by inadequate and asymmetrically equipped institutions in the North and South and related epistemological and operational obscurity (Wiesmann et al 2011). To help identify clear, practicable transdisciplinary approaches, I recommend examining the institutional route (Mukhopadhyay et al 2006) – i.e., the learning and adaptation process – followed in concrete cases. The transdisciplinary Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (1998–2013) is a case ripe for such examination. Understanding transdisciplinarity as an integrative approach (Pohl et al 2008; Stock and Burton 2011), I highlight ESAPP’s three key principles for a more democratised knowledge production for sustainable development: (1) integration of scientific and “non-scientific” knowledge systems; (2) integration of social actors and institutions; and (3) integrative learning processes. The analysis reveals ESAPP’s achievements in contributing to more democratic knowledge production and South ownership in the realm of sustainable development.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Ott, Cordula

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2015 11:25

Last Modified:

23 Mar 2015 11:25

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/63729

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