Beyond the Dichotomies in Technology for Development

Wilson, Gordon (2007). Beyond the Dichotomies in Technology for Development. Geography Compass, 1(2) pp. 119–135.



That technology is essential for development has been written many times. However, a few years ago, technology was increasingly seen as part of a problem that contributed
to the depoliticisation of development and reinforced existing societal structures. In response, this century has seen a reconceptualisation of technology’s role, alongside that of science. Thus, it is now seen as part of a system of plural knowledges in contrast to its previous role as major player. The challenges of this reconceptualised role are (1) to promote synergies between different knowledges
through dialogue and respect for difference, (2) to generate new knowledge through ‘learning with’, in addition to recycling existing knowledge through ‘learning from’, each other, and (3) to manage power relations so that no knowledge is intrinsically favoured (or put last). These challenges represent a call to lay to rest old dichotomies and antagonisms between different kinds of knowledge
and to avoid inventing new ones.

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