Towards Better Models
Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Chapter 17: Theoretical and policy failures in technologies and innovation for social inclusion: the cases of social housing, renewal energy and food production in Argentina
The relationship between technology, innovation and social inclusion has recently acquired new relevance in social development forums and institutions. Nowadays it is possible to find a diversity of new concepts, approaches and initiatives of inclusive innovation. However, it is not clear how to avoid the failures of previous experiences in the development of technology for social inclusion. Two kinds of common failures in Latin America can be identified as theoretical and policy failures. The former is mainly based on the use of linear models of innovation and old technology transfer conceptions that tend to reduce poverty and social exclusion to a technical problem. The latter is associated with this problem but also adds the difficulties of lack of human resources, discontinuity of funding, and inability of social development institutions to conceive or sustain long-term strategies based on learning improvements. The chapter works on cases from Argentina in the areas of social housing, renewal energy and food production in order to understand: 1) what kinds of theoretical problems practitioners face; 2) how practitioners recognize the limitations and failures of their approaches and policies; and 3) what kinds of strategies practitioners attempt to implement to overcome these emerging issues.
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