Universities and innovation in informal settings: evidence from case studies in South Africa
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Technological and economic development benefits a minority of the global population, challenging universities to consider how a transformative framework of innovation for inclusive development can inform an expanded understanding of their 'third mission'. However, there is little conceptually and empirically informed research available, a gap that stimulated exploratory qualitative research to open up the field, through four case studies of emergent practices in South Africa. This paper aims to identify conditions that facilitate and constrain interaction and knowledge flows between universities and marginalised communities around livelihoods in informal settings. Analysis highlights how actors are driven to interact with one another, to learn and develop new competences. Conditions in the national and local policy environment intersect with organisational conditions within universities and communities, and within the interaction itself, to shape outcomes that impact
on livelihoods and development. Finally, we reflect how working concepts may be refined to inform further research.