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Encounters and places: project negotiations in Galessa, Ethiopia

Encounters and places: project negotiations in Galessa, Ethiopia Purpose – Reflections on negotiation processes between farmers and scientists in research projects provide insights into issues of participation, power and equity. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how actors chose places to meet, negotiate and represent technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The research involved semi‐structured interviews and participant observation with farmers, scientists, government agricultural advisors (extensionists), policymakers, and staff of development organisations involved in a research for development project in Western Shewa, Ethiopia from 2009 to 2011. It combines theories from social studies of science as well as development studies. Findings – Using blueprint approaches in research projects will not yield sustainable results. Participation must go beyond consultation or trying to educate farmers. Social relations are at the core of cooperation between farmers and scientists and require much more attention. Powerful choices on modes of representation and communication technologies as well as unilateral decisions on places have important implications for the way decisions are eventually made and by whom. Originality/value – This approach to studying research for development projects from social studies of science perspectives adds new insights into debates on participation and power in technology transfer and multicultural cooperation in rural development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Multicultural Education & Technology Journal Emerald Publishing

Encounters and places: project negotiations in Galessa, Ethiopia

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-497X
DOI
10.1108/17504971211279491
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Reflections on negotiation processes between farmers and scientists in research projects provide insights into issues of participation, power and equity. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how actors chose places to meet, negotiate and represent technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The research involved semi‐structured interviews and participant observation with farmers, scientists, government agricultural advisors (extensionists), policymakers, and staff of development organisations involved in a research for development project in Western Shewa, Ethiopia from 2009 to 2011. It combines theories from social studies of science as well as development studies. Findings – Using blueprint approaches in research projects will not yield sustainable results. Participation must go beyond consultation or trying to educate farmers. Social relations are at the core of cooperation between farmers and scientists and require much more attention. Powerful choices on modes of representation and communication technologies as well as unilateral decisions on places have important implications for the way decisions are eventually made and by whom. Originality/value – This approach to studying research for development projects from social studies of science perspectives adds new insights into debates on participation and power in technology transfer and multicultural cooperation in rural development.

Journal

Multicultural Education & Technology JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 9, 2012

Keywords: Epistemologies; Participation; Communication technologies; Ways of knowing; Multicultural; Ethiopia; Negotiating; Research and development

References