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Interactive Workshop: Designing a 'Knowledge Exchange Partnership for Comparative Development' - dissolving our barriers to collaboration 
Joanne Davies (University of Reading)
Knowledge production
Wednesday 6 July, 15:00-16:00 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

How do we design a space in which development knowledge hierarchies can be addressed? Can we move to a framework of Comparative Development? Practitioners, academics and civil society activists are warmly invited to come together to discuss barriers to collaboration and how they can be overcome.

Long Abstract

It would enhance your experience of the interactive session if you could sign up to the collaboration whiteboard app MURAL beforehand:

Do development practitioners and Development Studies degree programmes challenge current structural inequalities or reinforce them? How do we characterise and value 'development knowledge'? Who has access to the spaces in which this knowledge is created or selected? By proposing a conceptual shift from 'development' to 'comparative development', we can evaluate alternative approaches from a perspective of curiosity and openness. However, if we are to avoid falling into previous traps of power and knowledge hierarchies, it is important that the 'comparative development' space is co-created from the start.

This interactive workshop builds on two years of research at the University of Reading. Working with a range of academics and practitioners, we have explored barriers to collaboration. We have seen how class and race contribute to these hierarchies, but we have also seen how market forces in education and development organisations, challenges of cross-cultural working and resource limitations impact collaboration. It takes considerable work to create new spaces for equal dialogues between stakeholders.

With live surveys and interactive debate, civil society actors, practitioners, academics and students are all warmly invited to contribute to the early design of a Knowledge Exchange Partnership for Comparative Development. This space is being co-created from its earliest stages. Participants are invited to contribute a 5-10 minute summary of a barrier they have faced or have overcome (and how they overcame it) when attempting to feed their academic, practitioner or lived experience knowledge into either the academic or policy space at the local or national level.

Accepted contributions: