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Social science that makes a difference The role of universities in innovation for inclusive development: insights from the CUPP programme Dr Glenda Kruss.

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Presentation on theme: "Social science that makes a difference The role of universities in innovation for inclusive development: insights from the CUPP programme Dr Glenda Kruss."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social science that makes a difference The role of universities in innovation for inclusive development: insights from the CUPP programme Dr Glenda Kruss Education and Skills Development DST IID Policy seminar 13 March 2015

2 HOW IS THE ROLE OF THE UNIVERSITY IN DEVELOPMENT TYPICALLY DEFINED IN SA? Economic growth agenda Technological upgrading, firm learning and capabilities, competitiveness Consultancies, contracts, incubators, spinoff firms, patents, commercialisation DST and its agencies fund and drive activity Human and social agenda Poverty reduction, equity and quality of life Community engagement, welfare, service learning, participatory research, IKS DHET and its agencies, NRF fund and drive activity

3 Social science that makes a difference IID: OPPORTUNITY TO ALIGN AGENDAS Context of rapid economic growth, but growing inequality, globally and in SA led to questioning of innovation paradigms: What about informal sector and livelihoods? Quality of life? Doing, Using Interacting modes of innovation? Rural contexts?  IID: experimenting and exploring boundaries of innovation system concepts, terminological contestation, diverse vantage points  IID: to harness university knowledge to mutual benefit of firms, farmers, marginalised communities

4 Social science that makes a difference CUPP brief: partnership between universities and communities Two way interaction: Move strengths and expertise of university out to communities to provide knowledge, in service of development Move community requirements into the university, to shape priorities, curriculum design and new areas of focus Pilot in four rural universities => experiential insight to identify blockages, challenges, practices and models

5 What can we learn from the CUPP models? Orientation outward in Develop novel approaches and methodologies to assess community needs at different levels, and identify channels to link and embed these into local development processes and power structures Located in rural development institute BUT mis/aligned with and integrated into strategic goals, decision making structures and core activities Challenges of local politics, continuity New academic programmes, (large) scale student involvement, reputation of academics and CE as field / marginalised activity BUT livelihoods? Innovation? IID? Articulating community voices

6 Orientation inward Advocacy and institutionalisation of Community Engagement amongst academics within university Stimulate critical reflection on whether CE is distinct in context of rural-urban university High level formal interactions with local development agencies, drawing them into governance structures and channelling expertise outward in a collaborative network Catalysed critical reflection, built academic field within university, shifted organisational practice nationally and international links BUT remained within HE space ? Reflection and change in the university

7 Oriented inward and outward Advocacy to promote CE, experimentation across faculties involving academics and students in interaction with local communities Trialling key activities promoted by DST: credit and non-credit bearing short courses and workshops, student service learning, network building, and community service Alternative modes of teaching and learning, extending expertise out to communities  attempting to change teaching and learning practice to accommodate cooperatives and community groups Participatory action research model: enhancing livelihoods of small cooperatives Participatory action research around livelihoods

8 Social science that makes a difference Participatory action research networks Classic community service projects Participatory networks: included regional/local government and industry partners Promote livelihoods of small farmers and cooperatives Skilling and supporting through university expertise Promote collaboration to support small cooperatives Introduce technologies new to cooperatives, through intermediary partners Short courses to train members Student research and product innovation for livelihoods Enhance quality of life: water quality and supply, new technologies Challenge: one-way knowledge flows from academic experts to community? small scale and experimental?

9 Social science that makes a difference UNIVERSITIES ROLE IN IID? Universities substantive nature: knowledge generation Agenda that integrates teaching and research in service of academic and of social or industrial agendas, focused on development of particular local places set within their national and global contexts (Goddard)  interaction between universities as knowledge producers, and a range of partners as ‘users’  Innovation: new to informal settings  Local actors in networks  by and for marginalised groups: agency and benefit

10 Social science that makes a difference Protecting access to livelihoods Indigenous knowledge health products Improved processing and safety regulation Introducing new forms of production Introduce science and technology Engage with community around livelihoods Fishing community (SA) Traditional herbalists (Uganda) Morula processing (Botswana) Fish farming techniques (Malawi) Tissue culture for improved bananas (Tanzania) Sustainable settlements (South Africa) San (Botswana) Botanical pesticides (Malawi) Stone crushing equipment (Tanzania) Seaweed farming and essential oil production (Tanzania) Mobile ICT hubs to rural communities (Uganda) Youth training and skills development (Botswana) Tropical forest conservation (Uganda) Training to diagnose and repair high tech vehicles (Nigeria) Sewing cooperative through Technology Station (SA) Community based farming and student learning (Nigeria) Nguni breed cattle lending scheme (SA) Livelihoods for rural women groups (Nigeria) Dairy cow lending scheme (Malawi)

11 Social science that makes a difference Shifts and changes Introduce discourse of innovation for inclusive development vs ‘disengagement’ or community engagement Oriented inward: to ensure models/activity/change rooted in the distinctive nature of universities Alignment with university strategic goals and decision- making structures Oriented outward to understand local conditions and potential partners Grounded in needs, interests and discourses of marginalised communities New networked and bi-directional forms of interaction, participatory practices and intermediary partners


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