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A retrospective analysis of responsible innovation for low-technology innovation in the Global South

Hartley, Sarah; McLeod, Carmen; Clifford, Mike; Jewitt, Sarah; Ray, Charlotte

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Sarah Hartley

Carmen McLeod

Professor of Human Geography and Development

Charlotte Ray


The role of low-technology innovation in addressing global challenges is undervalued. Responsible innovation (RI) has the potential to direct low-technology innovation toward global challenges in the Global South, yet this possibility remains largely unexplored. Through a retrospective analysis, this article explores how researchers grapple with dimensions of an RI framework in a research project and highlights key areas for researchers to consider when involved with low-technology innovation in a development context. The analysis demonstrates that RI can structure discussion and create space for anticipation, reflection and engagement with stakeholders. However, even when researchers are committed to the idea of RI, it is difficult to enact in practice. Although RI places significant emphasis on inclusive and meaningful engagement as imagined by co-development and inclusive models of innovation, the deficit model of public engagement presents a formidable barrier. Surprisingly, low technology innovators are likely to face the same struggles as high technology innovators with regards to engagement that allows end-users to shape the technology which may ultimately benefit them.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 23, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 11, 2019
Publication Date Apr 11, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 11, 2020
Journal Journal of Responsible Innovation
Print ISSN 2329-9460
Electronic ISSN 2329-9037
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 143-162
Keywords Global South, deficit model, high technology vs low technology, retrospective analysis
Public URL
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