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This site is the portal to The Open University’s groundbreaking research in Innovation and International Development, an area that reflects the OU’s deep commitment to educational opportunity and social justice. Building on the university’s leadership in open learning and partnership to promote debate, our work is frequently able to shape both policy and practice at the highest levels.

The research presented is supported by:

IKD: Innovation, Knowledge and Development Research Centre

IKD is a vibrant interfaculty research centre that has brought together academics from across the OU to pool expertise and undertake joint research since 2004. A series of internationally renowned Visiting Professors, Fellows and External Associates further increases its strength, diversity and ability to carry out interdisciplinary work. IKD’s cross-faculty research activity was recognised as a key element of the OU’s 'outstanding research environment' in the field of international development, which was graded third in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

IDII: International Development & Inclusive Innovation Research Network

Following this same REF process, which graded nearly 70% of the OU’s research in international development 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', the university identified international development as one of four strategic research areas that would benefit from increased funding.

The central theme of IDII, building on recognised IKD strengths, is inclusive innovation. Top-down initiatives alone – which redistribute resources in response to market outcomes – cannot hope to tackle global inequity. Market processes must be reshaped to ensure innovation involves and serves the needs of poor and marginalised people. Working in partnership with members of both groups is the most effective way to realise a fairer and more sustainable world.

A particular strength of both IKD and IDII is their multidisciplinary work, facilitated by members being drawn from across the Arts & Social Sciences, Business & Law, Education, Health & Social Care and STEM. They also work in close partnership with: