GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

Knowledge Technology and Society

The Knowledge, Technology and Society Team puts forward the premise that science and technology offer crucial ways to reduce poverty and increase social justice by improving agricultural livelihoods, tackling ill-health and sustaining the environment.

This is the image for the KNOTS Team Annual report pages.

The team therefore works to understand and influence the institutions and power-knowledge relationships that link technology, ecology and society; while simultaneously seeking to connect global debate with local realities through interdisciplinary research, networks and partnerships, teaching and training.

Such an approach is necessary because, although scientific advances promise tangible solutions for poverty and ill-health, many people remain excluded from the benefits of basic technology. In addition, although knowledge is crucial for linking rapid health, agricultural and environmental change to poverty reduction and social justice, global policy solutions often emphasise universalised and standardised forms of knowledge which fail to recognise dynamic local realities.

Although technology is made accessible, this often occurs through institutions which understand and use knowledge in particular ways, often highlighting the abstracted, neutral nature of science, rather than exploring how technology, science or knowledge might work in local contexts. Because these processes are responded to differently by people in local contexts, they frequently result in policy collapse, consternation, and social injustice.

In the world we live in, rapid innovation in science and technology occurs alongside dynamic social and ecological changes, creating optimism and new opportunities for health, agriculture and environmental development alongside new threats, risks and uncertainties. The KNOTS team believes that an interdisciplinary approach to science and technology – which takes seriously both science and society – is thus critical.& Our approach focuses on four core programme areas, Agriculture, Health, Water and Sanitation, and Environment, looking specifically at how to promote poverty reduction and social justice in these areas. Each programme has developed its own distinct research agenda, but collectively KNOTS researchers explore the following six core analytical themes:

  • Knowledge, Power and Policy
  • Risk, Uncertainties and Dynamics
  • Governance and Regulation
  • Access, Rights and Citizenship
  • Livelihoods and Security
  • Critical Engagements – Research, Communications and Influence

Working across the Agriculture, Environment, Water and Sanitation, and Health programmes – which are often treated as distinct and separate sectors in development – enables us to generate comparisons and cross-learning through debate and joint projects. The STEPS Centre provides an intellectual umbrella for significant portions of KNOTS work and facilitates the intellectual process of 'adding up' across these programme areas.

Disciplinary Diversity

In order to achieve our aims and to situate scientific and technological knowledge in relation to indigenous, local, bodily or other kinds of knowledge, the KNOTS team encourages disciplinary diversity and is made up of specialists with anthropological, sociological, geographic, economic, ecological and medical expertise.

The team also experiments with and uses distinctive research methodologies involving detailed local fieldwork and collaborative partnerships in order to enhance our understanding of dynamic social and ecological changes. The team's work focuses on development contexts in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Nonetheless, we also research issues and track debates in European contexts, not only because these have significant bearing on development policy but also because of the importance of North-South connections in today's globalised world.

Key contact

Photo of Oliver Burch

T: +44 (0)1273 915670

E: o.burch@ids.ac.uk

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Team Members

IDS staff or research student

T: 01273 915735

E: a.huff@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Annie Lowden

E: a.lowden@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Annie Wilkinson

E: a.wilkinson@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Catherine Holley,  Information Officer for the Human Development Resource Centre (HDRC) in IDS Knowledge Services.

T: +44 (0)1273 915756

E: c.holley@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Dominic Glover

E: d.glover@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Elizabeth Mills

T: +44 (0)1273 915705

E: e.mills@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Gerry Bloom, Research Fellow of the Knowledge Technology and Society team

T: +44 (0)1273 915667

E: g.bloom@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: h.elshafie@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Harriet Dudley

T: +44 (0)1273 915673

E: h.lebris@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Hayley MacGregor

T: +44 (0)1273 915676

E: h.macgregor@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Henry Lucas from Knowledge Technology and Society Team

T: +44 (0)1273 915675

E: h.lucas@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Henry Tugendhat, KNOTS research team

E: h.tugendhat@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow in the Knowledge Technology and Society research team

T: +44 (0)1273 915679

E: i.scoones@ids.ac.uk

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Jeff Knezovich is the Policy Influence and Research Uptake Manager, Knowledge Technology and Society

T: +44 (0)1273 915838

E: j.knezovich@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915834

E: j.allouche@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Jim Sumberg, Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

T: +44 (0)1273 915833

E: j.sumberg@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

T: +44 (0)1273 915682

E: j.thompson@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Julia Day

T: +44 (0)1273 915671

E: j.day@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: k.sethaputra@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Lars Otto Naess

T: +44 (0)1273 915849

E: l.naess@ids.ac.uk

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Lidia Cabral photo

E: l.cabral@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Linda Waldman, KNOTS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915685

E: l.waldman@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Lyla Mehta

T: +44 (0)1273 915677

E: l.mehta@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Marika Djolai, DPhil Student with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team

T: +44 (0)1273 915843

E: m.djolai@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: m.gingembre@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Michael Loevinsohn, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915680

E: m.loevinsohn@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Nathan Oxley, Communications Assistant, STEPS Centre

T: +44 (0)1273 915826

E: n.oxley@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Oliver Burch

T: +44 (0)1273 915670

E: o.burch@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

T: +44 (0)1273 915705

E: p.haste@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: r.oronje@ids.ac.uk

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photo of Shilpi Srivastava

E: s.srivastava@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Sophie Marsden, KNOTS administrator

E: s.marsden@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of SungKyu Kim

E: s.kim@ids.ac.uk

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