Communicating Accross The Domains Of Research, Policy, Practice And The Corporate Sector


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This presentation was made to the international workshop, "Knowledge for development in Africa" held in Windhoek, Namibia, 9-13 November 2009.

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Communicating Accross The Domains Of Research, Policy, Practice And The Corporate Sector

  1. 1. Knowledge for development in Africa: challenges and opportunities Windhoek, Namibia, 9-13 November 2009 Sarah Cummings Communicating across the domains of research, policy, practice and the corporate sector
  2. 2. Based on two approaches… <ul><li>Mapping the knowledge landscape with </li></ul><ul><li>- Practitioners (KM4Dev) </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers (Ceres Summer School, Knowledge Democracy conference) </li></ul><ul><li>Josine Stremmelaar, Hivos & Wenny Ho, BuZa </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliometrics </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Citation analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Iina Hellsten, VU University, using tools developed by Loet Leydesdorff </li></ul>
  3. 3. Problem definition (1) <ul><li>The domains of policy, research, practice, and corporate sector work in isolation focusing on their own domain-related interests </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers want publications in top rated journals </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners are to much in ‘do’ mode and have little theoretical underpinning </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers are focused on political deadlines, often ‘cherry-picking’ to support predetermined decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate sector: gives and takes but doesn’t share </li></ul>
  4. 4. Problem definition (2) <ul><li>Learning across the knowledge system takes place only on an ad hoc basis </li></ul><ul><li>Most approaches to learning and knowledge have an organisational focus </li></ul><ul><li>Efforts to systematise sectoral learning (water, agriculture) are in their infancy </li></ul><ul><li>Very little emphasis on the knowledge system </li></ul>
  5. 5. Problem definition (3) <ul><li>Southern voices have difficulty getting a hearing </li></ul><ul><li>Authors in key journals are predominantly from the North </li></ul><ul><li>Imbalance in power relationships </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why should domains cooperate? (1) <ul><li>Efficiency, effectiveness argument </li></ul><ul><li>Duplication, reinventing the wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Conception of the Triple Helix with innovation at the intersections </li></ul><ul><li>(Loet Leydesdorff and colleagues) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why should domains cooperate? (2) <ul><li>Development as a wicked problem or a group of interlinked wicked problems </li></ul><ul><li>Wicked problems are without any solution but nevertheless urgently require and answer </li></ul><ul><li>Resolved with knowledge of different sorts and not solved </li></ul><ul><li>(Brown, Engel) </li></ul><ul><li>Require a unified response </li></ul>
  8. 8. Mapping the development knowledge landscape (1) Policy Practice Research
  9. 9. Research Practice Corporate sector Development knowledge landscape (2) Policy
  10. 10. Mapping the development knowledge landscape (3) <ul><li>Differences in: </li></ul><ul><li>Working styles </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives/motivations </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge architecture different: journals and publications </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting places </li></ul><ul><li>… .How to bring about cross-fertilisation? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Bibliometrics (1) <ul><li>A. Basics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who publishes on development cooperation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportion of different institutions and countries? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>B. Semantic Maps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Map differences in the codification of knowledge in development cooperation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Systematic comparison of domains (research, practice, policy and media?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automated analysis of text documents: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Co-words in context and different levels of codification (e.g. science / mass media / policy / practice) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Bibliometrics (2) Author’s Institutions: Top 10 (articles on MDG, 2005-2008)
  13. 13. Author’s countries: Top 10 and Top 5 PEOPLES R CHINA 7 2.0 GERMANY 14 2.6 MEXICO 12 2.4 GERMANY 6 1.7 DENMARK 12 2.2 BRAZIL 11 2.2 JAPAN 5 1.4 FRANCE 8 1.5 WorldDevelopment (668) Journal of Development Studies (405) Development and Change (553) Nr % Nr % Nr % USA 248 48.8 UK 165 46.5 NETHERLANDS 179 32.8 UK 121 23.7 USA 89 25.1 UK 102 18.8 NETHERLANDS 26 5.1 CANADA 17 4.8 USA 68 12.5 GERMAN Y 22 4.3 INDIA 17 4.8 INDIA 50 9.2 CANADA 21 4.1 AUSTRALIA 14 3.9 AUSTRALIA 21 3.9 AUSTRALIA 19 3.7 NETHERLANDS 14 3.9 CANADA 17 3.1 ITALY 16 3.1 SOUTH AFRICA 8 2.3 FIJI 14 2.6 INDIA 14 2.8
  14. 14. Bibliometrics (5): semantic maps “ Millennium Development Goals” in the Web of Science in 2005-2008 (27 documents, 34 title words that occur more than twice )
  15. 15. Bibliometrics (6) <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Dominance of Northern institutions/authors </li></ul><ul><li>Dominance of large institutions/authors </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>less organised field, fragmented across many NGOs and actors -- the ‘neglected child’ </li></ul><ul><li>grey literature difficult to access for research </li></ul><ul><li>Symptomatic of the status and accessibility? </li></ul>
  16. 16. World café… <ul><li>Do you recognise these differences between the domains? </li></ul><ul><li>Do these gaps play a role in your work? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the gaps that do play a role in your work? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the initiatives that you know about which try to bridge these gaps/divides </li></ul>