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The use of indigenous knowledge has been seen by many as an alternative way of
promoting development in poor rural communities in many parts of the world. By
reviewing much of the recent work on indigenous knowledge, the paper suggests that
a number of problems and tensions have resulted in indigenous knowledge not being
as useful as hoped for or supposed. These include problems emanating from a focus
on the (arte)factual; binary tensions between western science and indigenous
knowledge systems; the problem of differentiation and power relations; the
romanticisation of indigenous knowledge; and the all too frequent decontextualisation
of indigenous knowledge.


Briggs, J. (2005) The use of indigenous knowledge in development: problems and challenges. Progress in Development Studies 5(2):99-114.