Cracks in the knowledge system: whose knowledge is valued in a pandemic and beyond? – From Poverty to Power

“Many of the inequities which COVID-19 has exposed – and exacerbated – have been with us for a long time.  Setting aside very stark disparities in access to health services, and the ability to maintain decent livelihoods, COVID has shown us once again the processes of exclusion that are baked into the ways in which we produce, communicate and use knowledge.

These are questions of infrastructure – who can study and work and be part of the many discussions taking place? – but also of voice – whose ideas and knowledge are valued?

We often think about how knowledge is produced and used around a particular issue or problem. But if we really want to “build back better” in knowledge terms, we have to look at our systems and how we improve those.

Taking a longer term and systemic view would mean thinking not just about research (i.e. how knowledge is produced by researchers) but also systems of education, and particularly higher education, that create our professional and practitioner communities, and systems of decision-making, that determine how evidence is used in government and elsewhere.

Here are some of the things we need to think about….”