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The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer: The Impact of Foreign Aid Experts on Policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania

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ISBN: 9781928331391 Year: Pages: 396 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.824638 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Political Science --- Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-10-29 10:00:37
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With the rise of the ‘knowledge for development’ paradigm, expert advice has become a prime instrument of foreign aid. At the same time, it has been object of repeated criticism: the chronic failure of ‘technical assistance’ – a notion under which advice is commonly subsumed – has been documented in a host of studies. Nonetheless, international organisations continue to send advisors, promising to increase the ‘effectiveness’ of expert support if their technocratic recommendations are taken up. This book reveals fundamental problems of expert advice in the context of aid that concern issues of power and legitimacy rather than merely flaws of implementation. Based on empirical evidence from South Africa and Tanzania, the authors show that aid-related advisory processes are inevitably obstructed by colliding interests, political pressures and hierarchical relations that impede knowledge transfer and mutual learning. As a result, recipient governments find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of dependency, continuously advised by experts who convey the shifting paradigms and agendas of their respective donor governments. For young democracies, the persistent presence of external actors is hazardous: ultimately, it poses a threat to the legitimacy of their governments if their policy-making becomes more responsive to foreign demands than to the preferences and needs of their citizens.

North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities

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ISBN: 9781928331308 Year: Volume: 1 Pages: 310 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education --- Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-01 08:24:13
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Since the 1990s, internationalisation has become key for institutions wishing to secure funding for higher education and research. For the academic community, this strategic shift has had many consequences. Priorities have changed and been influenced by new ways of thinking about universities, and of measuring their impact in relation to each other and to their social goals. Debates are ongoing and hotly contested.In this collection, a mix of renowned academics and newer voices reflect on some of the realities of international research partnerships. They both question and highlight the agency of academics, donors and research institutions in the geopolitics of knowledge and power. The contributors offer fresh insights on institutional transformation, the setting of research agendas, and access to research funding, while highlighting the dilemmas researchers face when their institutions are vulnerable to state and donor influence.Offering a range of perspectives on why academics should collaborate and what for, this book will be useful to anyone interested in how scholars are adapting to the realities of international networking and how research institutions are finding innovative ways to make North–South partnerships and collaborations increasingly fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial.

Sharing Knowledge, Transforming Societies

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ISBN: 9781928502005 9781928502012 9781928502029 Year: Pages: 610 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3607370 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Science (General) --- Education --- History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-17 11:21:03
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"In June 2016, the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (Norhed) hosted a conference on the theme of ‘knowledge for development’ in an attempt to shift the focus of the programme towards its academic content. This book follows up on that event.
The conference highlighted the usefulness of presenting the value of Norhed’s different projects to the world, showing how they improve knowledge and expand access to it through co-operation. A wish for more meta-knowledge was also expressed and this gives rise to the following questions: Is this way of co-operating contributing to the growth of independent post-colonial knowledge production in the South, based on analyses of local data and experiences in ways that are relevant to our shared future?
Does the growth of academic independence, as well as greater equality, and the ability to develop theories different to those imposed by the better-off parts of the world, give rise to deeper understandings and better explanations?
Does it, at least, spread the ability to translate existing methodologies in ways that add meaning to observations of local context and data, and thus enhance the relevance and influence of the academic profession locally and internationally?
This book, in its varied contributions, does not provide definite answers to these questions but it does show that Norhed is a step in the right direction. Norhed is an attempt to fund collaboration within and between higher education institutions. We know that both the uniqueness of this programme, and ideas of how to better utilise the learning and experience emerging from it, call for more elaboration and broader dissemination before we can offer further guidance on how to do things better. This book is a first attempt."

Keywords

knowledge --- science --- universities --- Africa --- Norhed

Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: African Higher Education Dynamics Series ISBN: 9781920677855 Year: Volume: 1 Pages: 310 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education
Added to DOAB on : 2015-04-01 17:32:49
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This volume brings together excellent scholarship and innovative policy discussion to demonstrate the essential role of higher education in the development of Africa and of the world at large. Based on deep knowledge of the university system in several African countries, this book will reshape the debate on development in the global information economy for years to come. It should be mandatory reading for academics, policy-makers and concerned citizens, in Africa and elsewhere.”– Manuel Castells, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley, Laureate of the Holberg Prize 2012 and of the Balzan Prize 2013

Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism

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Book Series: African Higher Education Dynamics Series ISBN: 9781928331223 Year: Volume: 2 Pages: 280 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education
Added to DOAB on : 2016-05-06 17:00:01
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The second volume of the African Higher Education Dynamics Series brings together the research of an international network of higher education scholars with interest in higher education and student politics in Africa. Most authors are early career academics who teach and conduct research in universities across the continent, and who came together for a research project and related workshops and a symposium on student representation in African higher education governance. The book includes theoretical chapters on student organising, student activism and representation; chapters on historical and current developments in student politics in Anglophone and Francophone Africa; and in-depth case studies on student representation and activism in a cross-section of universities and countries. The book provides a unique resource for academics, university leaders and student affairs professionals as well as student leaders and policy-makers in Africa and elsewhere.

Higher Education Pathways

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Book Series: African Higher Education Dynamics Series ISBN: 9781928331902 9781928331919 9781928331926 Year: Pages: 308 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1920793 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:33:11
License: African Minds

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"In what ways does access to undergraduate education have a transformative impact on people and societies? What conditions are required for this impact to occur? What are the pathways from an undergraduate education to the public good, including inclusive economic development?
These questions have particular resonance in the South African higher education context, which is attempting to tackle the challenges of widening access and improving completion rates in in a system in which the segregations of the apartheid years are still apparent. 
Higher education is recognised in core legislation as having a distinctive and crucial role in building post-apartheid society. Undergraduate education is seen as central to addressing skills shortages in South Africa and is also seen to yield significant social returns, including a consistent positive impact on societal institutions and the development of a range of capabilities that have public, as well as private, benefits. However, the precise extent and nature of these impacts remain unclear, particularly in light of contemporary global, social and economic challenges.
This book offers comprehensive contemporary evidence that allows for a fresh engagement with these pressing issues."

African Markets and the Utu-buntu Business Model

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ISBN: 9781928331780 9781928331797 9781928331803 Year: Pages: 200 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2628333 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Political Science --- Sociology --- History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2019-07-26 11:21:03
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The persistence of indigenous African markets in the context of a hostile or neglectful business and policy environment makes them worthy of analysis. An investigation of Afrocentric business ethics is long overdue. Attempting to understand the actions and efforts of informal traders and artisans from their own points of view, and analysing how they organise and get by, allows for viable approaches to be identified to integrate them into global urban models and cultures. Using the utu-ubuntu model to understand the activities of traders and artisans in Nairobi’s markets, this book explores how, despite being consistently excluded and disadvantaged, they shape urban spaces in and around the city, and contribute to its development as a whole. With immense resilience, and without discarding their own socio-cultural or economic values, informal traders and artisans have created a territorial complex that can be described as the African metropolis. African Markets and the Utu-buntu Business Model sheds light on the ethics and values that underpin the work of traders and artisans in Nairobi, as well as their resilience and positive impact on urbanisation. This book makes an important contribution to the discourse on urban economics and planning in African cities.

Keywords

utu-buntu --- markets --- Africa --- urban planning --- cities

Research Universities in Africa

Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 9781928331872 9781928331889 9781928331896 Year: Pages: 314 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1479114 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education --- History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:33:11
License: African Minds

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"From the early 2000s, a new discourse emerged, in Africa and the international donor community, that higher education was important for development in Africa. Within this ‘zeitgeist’ of converging interests, a range of agencies agreed that a different, collaborative approach to linking higher education to development was necessary. This led to the establishment of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (Herana) to concentrate on research and advocacy about the possible role and contribution of universities to development in Africa.
This book is the final publication to emerge from the Herana project. The project has also published more than 100 articles, chapters, reports, manuals and datasets, and many presentations have been delivered to share insights gained from the work done by Herana. Given its prolific dissemination, it seems reasonable to ask whether this fourth and final publication will offer the reader anything new.
This book is certainly different from previous publications in several respects. First, it is the only book to include an analysis of eight African universities based on the full 15 years of empirical data collected by the project. Second, previous books and reports were published mid-project. This book has benefited from an extended gestation period allowing the authors and contributors to reflect on the project without the distractions associated with managing and participating in a large-scale project. For the first time, some of those who have been involved in Herana since its inception have had the opportunity to at least make an attempt to see part of the wood for the trees.
Different does not necessarily mean new. An emphasis on the ‘newness’ of the data and perspectives presented in this book is important because it shows that it is more than a historical record of a donor-funded project. Rather, each chapter in this book brings, to a lesser or greater extent, something new to our understanding of universities, research and development in Africa."

Anchored in Place

Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 9781928331759 9781928331766 9781928331773 Year: Pages: 242 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1479159 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Education --- History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:33:11
License: African Minds

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"Tensions in South African universities have traditionally centred around equity (particularly access and affordability), historical legacies (such as apartheid and colonialism), and the shape and structure of the higher education system. What has not received sufficient attention, is the contribution of the university to place-based development.
This volume is the first in South Africa to engage seriously with the place-based developmental role of universities. In the international literature and policy there has been an increasing integration of the university with place-based development, especially in cities. This volume weighs in on the debate by drawing attention to the place-based roles and agency of South African universities in their local towns and cities. It acknowledges that universities were given specific development roles in regions, homelands and towns under apartheid, and comments on why sub-national, place-based development has not been a key theme in post-apartheid, higher education planning.
Given the developmental crisis in the country, universities could be expected to play a more constructive and meaningful role in the development of their own precincts, cities and regions. But what should that role be? Is there evidence that this is already occurring in South Africa, despite the lack of a national policy framework? What plans and programmes are in place, and what is needed to expand the development agency of universities at the local level? Who and what might be involved? Where should the focus lie, and who might benefit most, and why? Is there a need perhaps to approach the challenges of college towns, secondary cities and metropolitan centers differently?"

Science Communication in South Africa

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ISBN: 9781928502036 9781928502043 9781928502050 Year: Pages: 236 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3557206 Language: English
Publisher: African Minds
Subject: Science (General) --- Information theory
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-17 11:21:03
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"Why do we need to communicate science? Is science, with its highly specialised language and its arcane methods, too distant to be understood by the public? Is it really possible for citizens to participate meaningfully in scientific research projects and debate? Should scientists be mandated to engage with the public to facilitate better understanding of science? How can they best communicate their special knowledge to be intelligible? These and a plethora of related questions are being raised by researchers and politicians alike as they have become convinced that science and society need to draw nearer to one another.

Once the persuasion took hold that science should open up to the public and these questions were raised, it became clear that coming up with satisfactory answers would be a complex challenge. The inaccessibility of scientific language and methods, due to ever increasing specialisation, is at the base of its very success. Thus, translating specialised knowledge to become understandable, interesting and relevant to various publics creates particular perils. This is exacerbated by the ongoing disruption of the public discourse through the digitisation of communication platforms. For example, the availability of medical knowledge on the internet and the immense opportunities to inform oneself about health risks via social media are undermined by the manipulable nature of this technology that does not allow its users to distinguish between credible content and misinformation.

In countries around the world, scientists, policy-makers and the public have high hopes for science communication: that it may elevate its populations educationally, that it may raise the level of sound decision-making for people in their daily lives, and that it may contribute to innovation and economic well-being. This collection of current reflections gives an insight into the issues that have to be addressed by research to reach these noble goals, for South Africa and by South Africans in particular."

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