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Theorising Capabilities and Innovation

photo of boys and grandmother at a water pump in Thailand

Human well-being is about more than income. It's about opportunities, what people can be and do.

Emerging models of innovation have not yet been theorised from the viewpoint of their impact on well-being and global justice. OU researchers are challenging this, employing the concept of capabilities in fresh research and influencing the collection of routine data.

Current projects

Fostering the development of the Burundi Research Network

This project supports the Burundi Research Network, connecting Burundian and international scholars whose research is contributing to restoring dialogue and finding positive solutions to current crises and problems in the region.

Theorising Inclusive Innovation for Development

The aim of this project is to theorise a notion of justice in innovation, defending principles of equity, recognition and participation as bottom-up principles generated through public action and campaigning. 

The Capabilities Measurement Project

The project seeks to operationalise Sen's capabilities approach to welfare economics, initially by developing datasets that provide indicators of capabilities across a wide range of life domains.

Completed projects

Understanding Rural Co-operative Resilience in Malawi: A Pilot Study

The changes in the global economy and the financial crisis require new thinking about models of social and economic organisation and about how to promote resilience.

Understanding Poverty and Inequality through Different Forms of Exchange

This research aims to understand how exchanges contribute to the (unequal) empowerment of people to do or be what they value.

The Professional Lives and Values of Female Teachers in Rural sub-Saharan African Schools: A Capability Perspective

This is an in-depth study of seven female teachers living and working in rural primary schools in five countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Sudan.

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502