Epistemic injustice in international development: the case study of a research institute’s knowledge strategy


  • Julia Glaser Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
  • Eunice Amboka Likoko Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands


epistemic justice, decolonization, research institute, knowledge, international development cooperation


In the past years, the presence, and consequences of epistemic injustice – unfair treatment of individuals and groups in knowledge and communication practices – has become a topic of concern and debate for actors in the field of research and international development. This debate is rightly a topic of concern for Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI), part of Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands. WCDI operates as a research institute in the field of international development. As a research institute, it is having a significant influence in the realm knowledge creation, knowledge use and education for professionals and institutions in its target groups and individuals. This case study shows how the concept of epistemic justice can be made concrete and actionable. In addition, it also critically reflects on the current practices and policies that reinforce epistemic injustice. This is done by using an epistemic justice lens to review the current strategy of WCDI to position itself as a “knowledge partner” in the field of international development. This was done by interviewing individuals within the organization, and by reviewing organizational and policy documents, and academic literature. Epistemic injustice remains largely ignored as a dimension of discrimination in research, knowledge development and programme implementation. This paper concludes that the strategy development process can be a key tool for tackling epistemic injustice in knowledge and practices, by institutions and individuals in international development.


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