Decolonising Health Research in Africa: exploring epistemic justice and the "change that matters"


  • Dr Cornelius Ewuoso

    University of Cape Town, South Africa

Project summary

The calls to decolonize global health research are increasing. Responses to this call tend to be transactional, meaning the focus is on representation understood as increasing African-funded projects or African scientists. Albeit laudable, transactional inclusion leaves unexplored whether/how/what kind of inclusion is sufficient to fulfil the vision of decolonization, which amongst other things are the promotion of equal participation in knowledge production and authentic relationship amongst individuals. To articulate the scientific imaginary of the kind of inclusion that fulfils the vision of decolonization, this project applies three under-explored theoretical frameworks (constructivism, reflexive positionality and relationalism) to gather evidence of transactional inclusion and develop normative accounts of inclusion that transcend transactional forms. Having developed these accounts, the project applies them to specific elements of research on infectious disease, namely research priority setting and issues of representation in committees that decide on direction and governance of science in Africa