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Comprehending indigenous knowledge: An ethnographic study of knowledge processes within natural resource management.

Desta, Amare (2009) Comprehending indigenous knowledge: An ethnographic study of knowledge processes within natural resource management. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This study explores the phenomenon of indigenous knowledge within Ethiopia against a background of increasing concern for the sustainability of natural resources. A review of the indigenous knowledge, information systems and innovation studies literature finds little in the way of relevant theories and hence the study applies concepts from knowledge management. In particular, it takes the notions of tacit knowledge and knowledge processes and applies them in the context of indigenous knowledge concerning natural resource management. It combines existing knowledge process frameworks with stakeholder analysis to produce a robust conceptual tool to explore systems of indigenous knowledge. The research uses an ethnographic approach to studying an indigenous community in Debre Berhan, Ethiopia. The four-month fieldwork produced extensive data concerning indigenous knowledge within the community and the interface with scientific knowledge. It also shows the ingenuity and extent of local innovation by the villagers in an effort to solve local problems with local solutions. Using the conceptual framework, developed in the first part of the study, the data is analysed with reference to knowledge processes and the four main stakeholder groups: the indigenous farmers, the government, research institutions and local nongovernmental organisations. This analysis clarifies the existing roles of the stakeholders and leads to a new conceptualisation of indigenous knowledge, and the knowledge transfers between the indigenous and scientific communities, in terms of systems of knowledge processes. The implications of this model are considered within the light of the various external threats to indigenous communities and their knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Natural Resource Management, Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Management

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