Decolonizing Knowledge Systems: Towards a new Southern-Led approach


Despite increased emphasis on decolonizing knowledge production and localizing aid, the structural conditions that maintain the (neo/post) colonial status quo of knowledge production have not been challenged. As a result, evidence-based policy solutions tend to be devoid of contextual realities and usually replicate exclusions and marginalization impacting especially the most vulnerable including women, youth, LGBTQ, disabled and others.

This initiative seeks to deconstruct the concepts of decolonization/localization of knowledge production and understand the dynamics of how these concepts have been applied by multiple actors in the last decade, including institutions of higher learning, research for development organizations, researchers, and funders.

The project will also focus on how knowledge production processes are colonized based on power dynamics within the Global South. To this end, the aim of the project is to provide a new strategic vision and practical approach to decolonization of knowledge from a Global South perspective. It will be led by Global South researchers and experts who will examine the sociology and political economy of knowledge production in two regions, East Africa, and SWANA. The project seeks to strengthen global debates, make practical recommendations, and propose feminist approaches to implement measures for decolonizing knowledge production processes, as well as identify and propose a transformative research agenda.

The Centre for Lebanese Studies leads the SWANA component of the work and conducts two sub projects: One on Funding of forced migration research in the SWANA and one on Decolonizing the archive.

About the Partners


  • Dignity Initiative at the Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestinian Territories – Lead: Dr. Mudar Kassis
  • Center for Lebanese Studies at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon – Lead: Maha Shuayb and Cathrine Brun
  • Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the America University of Beirut, Lebanon – Lead: Dr. Rima Majed

Eastern and Southern Africa

  • Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Leads: Truphena Mukuna and Mr. Alemu Tesfaye;
  • Political Science Department at University of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Leads: Professor Bernadeta Killian, Dr. Richard Sambaiga; Dr. William John Walwa;






Senior Researcher

Director of The Centre for Lebanese Studies

Deputy Director for Research

Junior Researcher

Visiting Fellows