Co-producing knowledge for whom, and to what end? Reflections from the African Centre for Cities in Cape Town

Warren Smit*, Mary Lawhon, Zarina Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter reflects on the experiences of co-production in the African Centre for Cities (ACC), with a specific focus on the methods used and the challenges that underpin such normative research. It discusses the CityLab program, ACC's flagship co-production program since 2008, which consists of a number of interdisciplinary platforms dedicated to thematic research areas based in and focusing on Cape Town. The examples discussed in this chapter highlight that in order to have successful knowledge co-production it is essential that all partners are explicit about their normative assumptions and goals. It is particularly important to be explicit about normativity in knowledge co-production, where it is intended to grapple with, and impact on real-world problems, and where people from different disciplines and sectors might have very different norms, values, and ethics. The chapter reflects some issues relating to the importance of normativity in the co-production of knowledge, using examples from ACC's experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCo-producing Knowledge for Sustainable Cities
Subtitle of host publicationJoining Forces for Change
EditorsMerritt Polk
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315748030
ISBN (Print)9781138813618
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2015


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