Collaboration in International Development: An analysis of Doing Development Differently and Transdisciplinary Research

Sara Skåre

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis addresses the question whether transdisciplinary research (TDR) can be an approach to Do Development Differently (DDD), as defined by the DDD-manifesto, and specifically addresses what implications the different approaches have for the development practitioner. By conducting two discourse analyses, the paper compares the similarities between the two concepts DDD and TDR. As TDR involves collaboration between local actors around solving locally defined and real-life problems, the thesis found that TDR can be added as an element in the DDD discourse. In order to strengthen these findings, a case study of a TDR project in South Africa was conducted. This case study was investigated through the lens of Actor Network theory, which allowed for an analysis of the different stakeholders involved, the process from a research project to a social enterprise, and the negotiations that followed. The paper concludes that the case study built on a TDR approach, simultaneously and unintentionally, applied the DDD principles in their work. However, as both concepts are faced with the challenge of becoming rigid when defining their identity, their objectives are open for interpretation and do not provide much guidance for the development practitioner.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages99