Geopolitics of development knowledge:
Whose knowledge is seen as relevant concerning solutions to pressing global problems concerning inequality, climate change or social justice? Why are we making distinctions between global and local knowledges? Why are Development Studies concerned with poverty only in certain parts of the world? How do the politics of academic knowledge production and publication (high-ranked journals, pay walls) contribute to maintaining epistemic asymmetries?
Comparisons across the colonial divide:
What are the similarities and differences of development aid in the South and social assistance in the North and of protests against development projects in the South and infrastructure projects in the North? How might we comparatively conceptualise concerns around poverty, inequality, exclusion or rights in the language of ‘global’ development challenges?
How can Non-Western concepts and cosmologies contribute to a pluriversal idea of positive social change? How can we maintain a universal concept of rights without suppressing cultural differences? How do we understand and conceptualise the intersectional experience of individuals and groups as ‘other knowledges’ interact with, shape and re-shape, dominant notions of ‘development’?
- Build a multi-, trans- and interdisciplinary research landscape by systematizing and interlinking existing efforts of decolonizing development scholarship, teaching and practice.
- Develop awareness for decolonized development (studies) by collecting and disseminating innovative best practices of pedagogy and practice.
- Bridge asymmetries in knowledge production through systematically incorporating and canonising decolonial scholarship into curricula and syllabuses.
- Stimulate new research and develop a basis of common understanding for non-conventional partnerships between actors from academia, civil society and politics, in coherence with SDG 16. Stimulate thinking on new spaces of action that go beyond nation states and nationally confined development plans.
- Facilitate dialogue between academics and other societal stakeholders that will benefit the implementation and acceptance of Agenda 2030 within Europe.
- Promote emerging early career talents through dedicating leadership positions in the Management Committee, coordination of Working Groups and through mentoring a new generation of Early Career Investigators (ECIs) for long-lasting project sustainability.
- Integrate researchers from ITCs.
- Ensure mobility through Short-term Scientific Missions (STSMs) especially with participants from ITC countries to forge and strengthen relationships for continued research collaboration.
- Improve multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity of European research through ensuring openness of the network and inviting a broad range of collaborators.
- Improve relevance of European research and its translation into practice.
COST (The European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. These networks offer an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe (and beyond) and thereby give impetus to research advancements and innovation.