IKM Emergent is a research and communication programme that aims to critically analyse how different types of knowledge, including research, are informing development practice.
The programme, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is founded on the idea that the development sector has generally based its work on a limited a range of forms of knowledge and perspectives. IKM seeks to address this issue through research, interdisciplinary collaborations and dialogue that support alternatives to prescriptive, top-down development models.
In the first phase of the programme, IDS sought to develop the conceptual and practical understanding of the role of information and knowledge intermediaries, organisations that specialise in brokering information between different research and practitioner communities.
Against this background Evangelia Berdou commissioned eight short articles to highlight new developments in the production and dissemination of information relevant for positive social, economic and political change. These include contributions from academics and practitioners on the role of mobile service providers as information gatekeepers, the implications of the net neutrality debate for developing countries and the emergence of technical volunteer communities as a new development actor.
As part of the second phase of IDS involvement in the programme, a study is being undertaken on how new technologies are being adapted and adopted by development practitioners and researchers to enhance processes of positive social change. The study is aimed at:
- mapping innovative practices at the interface of development work and technology
- identifying actors, initiatives and networks within this area that may benefit from learning from each other
- making suggestions for methodological innovations involving the marrying of participatory technologies with participatory media