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IKD Research Centre

The IKD Research Centre is a major contributor to the OU's international development activity

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The Open University’s groundbreaking research in Innovation and International Development reflects our 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 two initiatives within the university:

IKD: Innovation, Knowledge and Development 

Established in 2004, IKD is a vibrant interfaculty research grouping that brings together academics from across The Open University to pool expertise and undertake joint research. Our strength, diversity and ability to carry out interdisciplinary work is enhanced by a series of internationally renowned Visiting Professors, Fellows and External Associates. IKD’s cross-faculty research activity is a key element of The Open University’s 'outstanding research environment' in the field of international development, graded third in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

IDII: International Development and Inclusive Innovation 

IDII takes the view that top-down initiatives – which redistribute resources in response to market outcomes – cannot on their own hope to tackle global inequity and poverty. Market processes need to be reshaped to ensure innovation involves and serves the needs of poor and marginalised people. Working in partnership with poor and marginalised people, involving them in developing their own solutions, is the most effective way to realise a fairer and more sustainable world.

IDII was created following the 2014 REF, in which almost 70% of The Open University’s research in international development was graded 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. This led the university to identify international development as one of its strategic research areas. It established the IDII strategic research area, building on IKD's recognised strengths, to focus on inclusive innovation. 

Multidisciplinary working

A particular strength of both IKD and IDII is our multidisciplinary work, with members being drawn from across the university's Faculties: Arts and Social Sciences (FASS); Business and Law (FBL); Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS); and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  We also work in close partnership with: