'We have a dream': proposing decolonization of knowledge as a sixth generation of knowledge management for sustainable development.


  • Bruce Boyes
  • Sarah Cummings
  • Fitsum Tesfaye Habtemariam
  • Gladys Kemboi Global Learning & Knowledge Management Advisor, Jhpiego


knowledge management, decolonization, decolonization of knowledge, knowledge practice, practices


This first paper in the Special Issue presents a conceptual framework for a proposed new sixth generation of knowledge management for sustainable development (KM4SD). We are using the term ‘sustainable development’ rather than just ‘development’ usually used in the definition of the field of knowledge management for development (KM4D) to reflect the importance of a development which is sustainable in terms of people and planet. As reflected in the title of the Special Issue, we consider that the identifying concept of the new sixth generation of KM4SD is the ‘decolonization of knowledge.’ To fulfil our aim of presenting a conceptual framework for the proposed new sixth generation of KM4SD, we first discuss the research history and notable aspects of the generations of KM4SD. Next, we document the research-informed collaborative and co-creative social processes that have led to the development of the proposed sixth generation of KM4SD. Finally, we introduce a conceptual framework describing what we consider to be the defining features of the sixth generation of KM4SD.


UN (2015) Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development, United Nations General Assembly. Available at: https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E




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