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  • Elisabeth Olsen

Ethnographic Research on Innovation: Going Back into the Field

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

There is a need for me to go back in the field and explore the innovation processes taking place in international development. Next fall, August 2020, I will go back to Zanzibar and Tanzania for a 4 months ethnographic fieldwork, exploring the unfolding of tech-driven innovation processes that are currently finding place in the sector. I will in particular investigate how technological devices work locally, in addition to build knowledge on how and what technological devices that release the techno-material innovation and socio-culturally prosperity needed to fuel the transitions to new livelihoods for the communities involved.


The aim of this research is to provide new insights on innovation initiatives' contributions to bring people out of poverty. The fieldwork will have a particular focus on exploring how tech-driven innovations are unfolded and adapted in a mixture of local participation and sense making, and in partnership with external actors and the technological devises. By exploring the creation and materialization of innovative solutions, my overall concern is to enhance our understanding of how innovation interventions may create technological products that successfully improve poor people's lives.

Key questions to be investigated in the field, are;


- How are tech-driven innovations emerging in developing contexts;

- How are the innovative solutions modelled; and

- What does it take to bring the successful innovations to adaption and eventually scale?


I am still in the process of selecting innovations for the fieldwork. If you have any good suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me.


I will keep you updated, stay tuned!



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