An interpretive policy analysis of multi-goal, sustainable-development research programmes

Dobson, Charlie (2022) An interpretive policy analysis of multi-goal, sustainable-development research programmes. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Many developed countries in the global North are funding science programmes designed to address sustainability challenges in the global South. These programmes typically combine the goals of scientific excellence, interdisciplinarity, development impact and inclusion of researchers based in the global South. This thesis reviews the existing literature related to the subject and finds that there has been almost no research on the programme level dynamics of this type of programme. This is despite the increasing prominence of this type of programme and the challenges associated with a range of actors with differing motivations (e.g., funders, senior researchers, programme actors), working together to achieve complex, and potentially conflicting goals. To address this gap this thesis applies the Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) methodology to a case study of two UK-based programmes. The approach asks what the programme means to different actors and provides a lens for understanding their intentions and the tensions between them.

The thesis makes two contributions to knowledge. First, it identifies and tests a suitable analytical approach and methodology in an appropriate way to study this under researched subject. The thesis finds that IPA produces valuable insights and is more appropriate than existing approaches deployed in the wider science, technology and innovation studies literature. It also identifies a number of drawbacks with the approach and ways in which it could be built on. Second, it contributes practicable, contextualised, yet critically engaged, knowledge about these programmes on which designers and implementers can reflect. Thisincludes a set of insights around how to motivate senior researchersto engage in programme level integrative activities. It also identifies underlying and unresolved tensions around interpretations of key ideas such as poverty relevance, partnerships and capacity building that encourage reflection on whether programmes are well targeted to meet development aims.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 13:53
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 13:53

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