Students of Masters’ courses, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Conclusion of focus group discussion, 2 March 2017
We recommend that future development of the Agenda Knowledge for Development should provide a clarification on the knowledge aspect of each SDG. In addition, we consider that the moral and political aspect of knowledge requires greater recognition which also requires greater clarity on the authors’ and contributors’ positionality. There is a need to recognise that local knowledge is not a theoretical concept but includes, for example, legal and medical knowledge which is important for social and cultural aspects of society. On the other hand, local legal knowledge might not be fit for its purpose as examples of its use in conflict resolution also demonstrate. Knowledge does not occur in isolation. There is a need for translation between discourses/languages to build new abilities in practice.
The question is not what knowledge can do for development but what development can contribute to this knowledge: how prescriptive should this knowledge be and how easily will developing societies contribute to previous knowledge? This involves the need to deconstruct knowledge – informal, tacit, awareness, experience – into indicators. Knowledge through media, such as the arts and song, can be one way of operationalising certain forms of knowledge, its acceptability and accessibility. Indicators should focus on acceptability, credibility and accessibility of the different forms of knowledge throughout the Knowledge Development Goals.