This paper departs from the observation that empirical and conceptual frameworks describing the intersection of new technology and development studies have begun to embrace the idea of open development. Frameworks for research, however, continue to reflect older notions of technology appropriation and empowerment. In order to start a dialogue about research design appropriate to open development, I provide an overview of key ontological, epistemological, and methodological considerations of significance to this field. An open development approach, I argue, should focus on enhancing cognitive justice rather than productivity or empowerment. This can best be carried out through the application of a constructivist and critical realist epistemology, through positional methodology and through networked research processes.
Received: 10 November 2011
Revised: 20 November 2011