Thematic Area: 
Under this theme, critical scholarship addresses the (re)production of privilege, power and dispossession in specific historical and cultural contexts. Usually, the examination of inequality focuses on the following categories: nationality, race, class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. While not downplaying the significance of these established categories, IERI’s research interest is also directed at exploring emerging forms of inequality as well as new forms of resistance to them. We recognise that knowledge and innovation systems become dominant or peripheral through strategies of power, privilege, and participation. Consequently, analyses of non-hegemonic knowledge systems are required to foster more inclusive social relations.

Innovation is currently recognised as a vital driving force of economic change. Initiatives to promote innovative activities are quickly spurring in emerging economies as a means to facilitate economic growth. However, innovation as exclusively located in private commercial firms is also prone to create regional imbalances, inequality and social exclusion, which constitute major constrains to achieve the desirable long term objectives of sustainable and equitable development. This situation is becoming evident in emerging economies, such as South Africa, where positive rates of economic growth coexist with growing rates of poverty, hunger and exclusion of large segments of the population. In this regard, we understand the importance of revising the role of knowledge and innovation in shaping inclusive, equitable and sustainable development trajectories, with a larger focus on understanding the social dimensions of participation and its impact on improving the quality of life for all members of society.

Journal Article

IERI Working Papers

Lindile Ndabeni and Polly Mashigo

Economic and scientific discourse is often framed in a neutral language where women largely become invisible. However, the discourse remains male coded with its focus mainly on male coded production. Mainstreaming gender particularly in the analyses of innovation systems can improve the development of science technology and innovation policies. More significantly, a gender perspective shifts...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | IERI Working Papers
Lindile Ndabeni

Globally about 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation and 1.1 billion practice open defecation. Being seen practicing open defecation can provoke the greatest form of embarrassment. In particular, open defecation symbolises an embedded form of marginalisation especially in remote rural villages where latrines are often restricted to village elites. That is, rural...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | hygiene | IERI Working Papers | sanitation systems | water
Mario Scerri

This paper looks at the relationship between organised labour, the state and private enterprises within the context of the governance of the national system of innovation. In general, from the triple-helix model organised labour may be seen as the missing link, mostly due to its perceived and often actual adversarial relationship with private enterprise and with the state. The paper...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | IERI Working Papers

Presentations and Other

Lindile L Ndabeni and Rasigan Maharajh

After nearly two decades since the ending of apartheid colonialism, poverty, unemployment, inequality, and environmental degradation remain persistent problems. In seeking to improve the quality of life for all its inhabitants, South Africa must also reduce poverty, create employment, and redress widening inequalities. Both at national and provincial levels, policy development aims to enhance...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | Lindile L Ndabeni, PhD | Presentations and Other | Rasigan Maharajh
Lindile L. Ndabeni


  • Institute for Economic Research on Innovation
  • We undertake research that seeks to promote sustainable economic growth, social development and political democracy
  • We are centrally concerned with evidence-based policy research
  • We believe that academics should not only interpret the world without doing anything to change it
  • Background...
Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | Lindile L Ndabeni, PhD | Presentations and Other
Lindile Ndabeni

Thank you chairperson, Honourable Deputy Minister, our Vice Chancellor and Principal, all protocols observed, ladies and gentlemen.

My name is Lindile Ndabeni. I work here at this Institution as one of the staff members. As Rasigan has correctly pointed out, indeed our work seek out new answers to a number of problems that we experience as a locality, as a province, as country, and a...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | Lindile L Ndabeni, PhD | Presentations and Other

Selected Books, Chapters and Reports

Ndabeni L., and Jonas, S.

Conventional approaches to local development have not been successful in eradicating poverty, unemployment, and inequality. These challenges continue to face policy makers and development practitioners in South Africa. More specifically, it has become clear that at the global level, there are structural differences between the global North and the global South. What makes sense in the North...

Keywords: Equality, inclusion and participation | Lindile L Ndabeni, PhD | local development | Public participation | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports | Sustainability