Attribution: Please use this identifier to share, cite, or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10625/44593
Title: Exploring transdisciplinarity in an ecosystem and human approach to low-cost housing provision, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Authors: Goebel, A.
Hill, T.
Fincham, R.
Lawhon, M.
Queen's University
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords: LOW COST HOUSING
ECOSYSTEM APPROACHES
HEALTH
SOUTH AFRICA
TRANSDISCIPLINARITY
Date: 2008
Publisher: Queen's University, Kingston, ON, CA
Abstract: The ideals and assumptions associated with a transdisciplinary approach to environmental issues are investigated through the experience of a three-year research project in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa focused on low-cost housing. An ecosystem and human health perspective as advocated by IDRC was embraced as the framework for the project. Through this work, transdisciplinarity was conceptualised, not as a panacea to create an all-encompassing research approach, but as an attempt to move away from paradigm isolation and allow researchers to integrate and develop a synthesis from their separate contributions. The paper discusses aspects of transdisciplinarity including definitions, methodologies, team-building, paradigmatic rigidities, the negotiation of power in the production of knowledge with stakeholders and community partners, and institutional challenges. Trade-offs include loss of data resolution at times, but are offset by deeper understanding of the complexities and constraints of applied environmental and social research in contemporary South Africa.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10625/44593
Project Number: 102162
Project Title: Urban Ecosystems and Human Health in South Africa
Access: IDRC Only
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