Investigating Local Knowledge: New Directions, New Approaches

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9780754632306: Investigating Local Knowledge: New Directions, New Approaches

Local knowledge reflects many generations of experience and problem solving by people around the world, increasingly affected by globalizing forces. Such knowledge is far more sophisticated than development professionals previously assumed, and as such, represents an immensely valuable resource. A growing number of governments and international development agencies are recognizing that local-level knowledge and organizations offer the foundation for new participatory models of development that are both cost-effective and sustainable, and ecologically and socially sound. This book provides a timely overview of new directions and new approaches to investigating the role of rural communities in generating knowledge founded on their sophisticated understandings of their environments, devising mechanisms to conserve and sustain their natural resources, and establishing community-based organizations that serve as forums for identifying problems and dealing with them through local-level experimentation, innovation, and exchange of information with other societies. These studies show that development activities that work with and through local knowledge and organizations have several important advantages over projects that operate outside them. Local knowledge informs grassroots decision-making, much of which takes place through indigenous organizations and associations at the community level as people seek to identify and determine solutions to their problems.

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About the Author:

Alan Bicker has qualifications in both agricultural and anthropology with research interests in the dynamics of migrant integration and the cognitive systems involved. His current work focuses on Eastern European migration and its participation in Western European farming, and researching its significance for our understanding of agricultural knowledge. Paul Sillitoe has qualifications in both agricultural science and anthropology with research interests in tropical farming systems and indigenous natural resource management strategies. He specialises in development and social change, livelihood and technology, human ecology and ethnoscience. He has worked in Papua New Guinea, where he first championed the competitive sociability of institutionalised corporate exchange individualism, and Bangladesh, researching local agricultural knowledge and development programmes. Johan Pottier is a senior anthropologist who has researched extensively in Central Africa. He has published on local-level perceptions of food security; anthropology and food policy; post-drought and post-famine recovery; refugee perceptions of humanitarian aid; war, displacement and ethnicity; and the impact of migration on rural livelihoods. He is currently Head of the Anthropology Department at SOAS, University of London.

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Alan Bicker (Editor), Paul Sillitoe (Editor), Johan Pottier (Editor)
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