Decolonizing Sustainability Research 


In the Global South, ‘coloniality’ has long been associated with political rule over subordinated countries 1. Struggles for ‘decoloniality’ have evolved from the undoing of colonial rule, to the even more fundamental challenge of freeing knowledge, practice, and culture from deeper worldwide concentrations of incumbent power 2. In keeping with the more expansive ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals, a decolonisation framework thus encompasses some of the most profound and pervasive critiques of globalising structures and their conditioning effects in every setting 3. Accordingly, the neglected imperative to ‘decolonise methodologies’ in research and policy appraisal, embodies some of the most important and intractable challenges in this sustainability – offering crucial opportunities for thinking, knowing, and doing alike 4The summer school will allow participants therefore to explore how methods for informing policy decisions and wider political debates can enable learning, enrich knowledge, enhance practice and nurture more emancipatory outcomes in the Global South. 

About the summer school 

Drawing from the lessons on the Decoloniality of Methods webinar series (practices), and book project (theory), the summer school will provide a practical opportunity for participants to explore how methods have been (can be) used to inform, impact and transform policies, societies and economies. At the end of the training sessions, the participants will participate in the STEPS methods year workshop, as part of their post-summer school alumni engagement. The summer school takes into consideration a learner centered approach, allowing for theory, practice, and practical approaches The summer school will be held in Kenya, however, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions, we are exploring the possibilities of online participation in some of the activities.

Target participants 

The participants in the summer school will be drawn from multiple stakeholders and sectors, and will cut across various actor groups of interest to decolonization of methods, and valorization of next generation of practical methods. Specifically the summer school targets Post graduate students and early career researchers, policy makers, and practitioners contributing to sustainability. 

General Summer School Fees

Summer school fee will be $500 per participant. Applicants are required to indicate whether they are government/institution/organization sponsored, scholarship or self-sponsored or any other.

Methods of delivery 

The school will bring together acclaimed scholars of the field of sustainability research, decoloniality, and methods, aiming to offer each participant the opportunity to follow: 

  • Roundtable discussions and lectures  
  • Joint lectures every morning delivered by different international scholars 
  • Case study course sessions delivered by different international scholars 
  • Workshop groups in the afternoon to discuss the research projects contributing to Decoloniality of Sustainability Research of each participant addressed to small groups of 10 to 15 participants