Masters’ student, Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, University of Sussex, UK
As a student of anthropology and development, I am constantly examining what knowledge means both as a process, and as a resource. By studying and comparing emic and etic perspectives, one can gain insight into culturally distinct interpretative frameworks that form the basis for development knowledge. Thus, the role of knowledge within development discourse and implementation goes beyond the social function of providing an opportunity for exchange and participation to take place. It encourages us to explore how knowledge is experienced, understood and adapted in specific narratives. For knowledge to be both sustainable and accessible, we should improve the way in which knowledge is given value. Diversifying social systems of knowledge, enhancing access to and reshaping the way in which it is categorized will provide opportunities for development. The discourse on development knowledge must shift to equally value both top-down and bottom-up approaches. It must reassess the value placed on traditional and local knowledge systems, to enhance both the implementation and exchange of this knowledge. Ensuring all forms of knowledge are valued with equality and equity will provide a level playing field for sustainable development to access all those who seek it.