Adjusting western research techniques to accommodate research in the indigenous realm

  • Rosemary Chimbala Kalenga
Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Western knowledge systems, research methodologies


This article seeks to adjust Western research techniques to accommodate research in the indigenous realm. Indigenous knowledge systems require a different approach from Western methodologies of collecting data. Indigenous people take pride in sharing their knowledge as they ‘live it’ because it cannot be contested anywhere in the world. Sharing it with a researcher does not change anything in their context. Indigenous research theory underpins this assertion. Data was collected through qualitative approaches that involved individual interviews and focus groups. The findings indicate that indigenous knowledge systems have their own ways of conducting research through ways that may not be palatable to Western methodology. This article recommends adjusting Western research methodologies to suit research in specific native settings. The ‘one size fits all’ is not a practical way of conducting indigenous research. As such, unless we embrace and respect the people and their culture, researchers may only prove hypotheses and not the realities of the phenomenon. Indigenous research methodologies will enhance finding new worthwhile knowledge.

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Western knowledge systems; research methodologies


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1683-0296