Challenges of knowledge production and knowledge use among researchers and policy-makers

SOURCE: Educational Action Research
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2018
TITLE AUTHOR(S): T.Twalo
KEYWORDS: KNOWLEDGE LEVEL, KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION, POLICY FORMULATION, RESEARCH DESIGN
DEPARTMENT: Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10377

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The knowledge value chain has multiple stakeholders such as researchers and policy-makers. These are conventionally knowledge producers and knowledge users, respectively. Knowledge producers and knowledge users sometimes have conflicting interests, expectations, concerns, and priorities. To mitigate these differences, one of the strategies used is knowledge co-production. However, at times the knowledge co-production process demonstrates the implications of the adage that ???knowledge is power???. The manifestations of power or powerlessness are demonstrated in knowledge production and knowledge use/consumption. This paper discusses the metamorphosis of research approaches during a project and the concomitant adjustment of power relations and stakeholder expectations regarding knowledge production and consumption in the VakaYiko Project. It employs theoretical approaches from conventional research, applied research and participatory action research to analyse the concomitant negotiations for power. Power was demonstrated in decision-making with regard to how to undertake the study, composition of the research team, sampling of participants, and what to include/exclude in the research report. The data for this study were gathered through interviews with representatives of organisations that participated in the project and from the project research reports. The four key findings are that (1) the interface of knowledge producers and knowledge users is a site for the contestation of power because of competing priorities and lack of mutual understanding, (2) unresolved knowledge cocreation concerns inhibit the knowledge production process, (3) research uptake is not automatic; it is determined by several factors, and (4) project conceptualisation oversights translate to glitches at subsequent stages of the project.