“Development’ often thought about narrowly as ‘economic’ development Journals in the ‘development’ field include: Economics Multidisciplinary journals (World Development) Practice-based (Development in practice) Various social sciences ones
My experience over the last 10 years of doing research to support ‘development’ feels like this!
One of the underpinnings that has helped is that from TD. TD looks at the space BETWEEN disciplines…. And maintains that we need engagement/coordination across all four levels to make a useful contribution. For instance they point out that economics, without due attention to implicit value/ethical assumptions, can cause problems rather than solve them. Max Neef maintains that clear explication of ethics, values and morals guides problematisation- helps you ask appropriate and useful questions and answer them within the relevant disciplines.
WHOSE research question!?- for people to engage in the answer, it may be important that they are involved in formulating the question!!! Knowledge from one discipline is brought to bear on knowledge within another discipline Lay knowledge is included as legitimate and important form of knowledge Methodology evolves over time (not necessarily pre-conceived/decided) Different types of outcome arise: Addressing the problem Mutual learning Realm of peer review/knowledge/ theory-building
Different knowledges: local institutional partners who understand culture!! Bringing in ‘business’ disciplinary expertise- entrepreneurship/value-chains, bringing in political economy analysis- power dynamics explicitly considered. “Lay” voice- whose- entrepreneurs/business owners Ethics: Rigour: Relevance: address questions posed by NGOs- low density areas, work across 3 countries to have wider international relevance partnership with those whom research was to influence: NGO partners, integrally involved
different knowledges ethics rigour relevance partnership with those whom research was to influence
CASES: How are sanitation problems usually solved? Standard ‘known’ technical solutions…. BUT, these miss the chance to do things differently, or to check if the ‘technical’ solution will work in the institutional/social/political context, and different knowledges: engineering, economics, politics!!! ethics: being outsiders, existing power- buy in or resist? rigour: what level of detail to go to?????- how to assist decisions on right ‘amount’ of evidence and information relevance: answering questions of our partners, bringing together stakeholders in a structured process of deliberation partnership with those whom research was to influence: water supply/san company, people’s committee strengths: engagement, debunked some myths about costs and gave more analytical basis for decisions, forced govt silos to takl weaknesses: politics likely to reign, process wasn’t replicable by others- and these decisions need to be made all the time
Social work, organisational management, positive psychology --- strengths-based approaches
different knowledges, ethics, rigour and relevance, partnership with those whom research was to influence
Juliet Willetts - Research paradigms for poverty alleviation
Research paradigms for poverty alleviation
and sustainable development:
a balancing act of different knowledges,
ethics, rigour and relevance
A Prof Juliet Willetts, Institute for
Sustainable Futures, UTS
Sydney 21-22 November 2013
My main point – to ask ourselves…
What kind of
research do we need
to create change?
The balancing act
Ways of knowing
What is it we
want to do?
M A Max Neef (2005) Foundations of Transdisciplinarity. Ecological Economics 53: 5-16
ness of pow
ures and h
ledge is us
just for new
pl i n
Looking to the future, what kind of research
do we need to create change?
Humility as researchers
Respect for different types of
knowledge and disciplines
Courage to dare to think
differently and make new
Integrity and ethics
Flexibility to adapt approach