Socio-Technical Transitions and Intermediaries: Lessons From the Gender Gap of Contraception for Future Inclusive Treatments

santé des femmes
genre et santé
recherches et études

*Mots-clés : Scaling-up, socio-technical transitions, inclusivity, multi-level perspective, networks, intermediary actors, inclusive contraceptive system *

Un mémoire de Romane Vanhakendover, M.Sc. Public Policy and Human Development à Maastricht University

Asbtract: Why are cars fuelled and not electricized? Why did fuel cars win over electric cars? Why do we use plastic bottles for water rather than in cans that are 100% recyclable? Why are governments still dependent on nuclear energy and not wind power? Why do women bear the heavy burden of contraception when other ways exist? How can sustainable and/or inclusive solutions replace their unsustainable and/or unbalanced alternatives and replace the dominant system? Sometimes it can looks like this is a world of possibilities in the form of low-hanging fruits but that they often remain just that: possibilities.

Niche projects and innovations are sprouting all around Europe. Yet, these projects do not always get to a stage where they can be expanded to a greater scale. There is an identifiable systemic policy failure where inclusive and/or sustainable innovations already do exist all around Europe, and are supported in different localities but are not scaled up. The end result paints a discouraging picture where Europe is composed of a plethora of pilot projects but they never acquire enough strength and the overwhelming support they need to scale up and disrupt the socio-technical system in place, or in political terms the status quo. How does an isolated idea in an isolated niche become mainstream? The objective is clear: transitioning from existing unsustainable and unequal socio-technical regimes implementing sub-optimal solutions to sustainable and inclusive ones. This research will focus on inclusive socio-technical transitions, where the literature is lacking, rather than sustainable socio-technical transitions, which already has a considerable amount of research behind it. It will not concentrate on the validity of the projects but rather on the innovative processes, the networks and actors involved in it, their challenges, their opportunities, as well as a solution to answer the following question: How can networks of intermediaries optimise their role in scaling up inclusive solutions to implement socio-technical transitions?

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