Working with Indigenous Knowledge: A Guide for Researchers
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In the sections that follow, methods of incorporating indigenous knowledge (IK) systems in development work are discussed. Section 1 serves as general introduction to the topic. To explain why IK deserves our attention today, this section concludes with a short discussion on sustainable development. Section 2 addresses some of the ethical issues in IK research. Intellectual property rights and the emerging ethical, legal, and commercial contexts affecting IK research are discussed. Section 3 looks at research paradigms, briefly mapping out insights generated from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources framework for assessing progress toward sustainability, the social sciences, and gender-sensitive and participatory rural research. This section concludes by tabulating all inputs as one framework (see Table 3). Section 4 expands on the topic of IK methodology by offering details on 31 field techniques. Section 5 presents four case studies, demonstrating different approaches to IK research in terms of research objectives and collection techniques. Section 6 deals with assessing the product of IK research in terms of sustainability and looks at developing IK through validation and experimentation. Three sets of formal procedural guidelines for conducting IK research are presented in Appendix 1. The guidelines can be adapted to other situations.