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Research Triangle Institute

The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) is an organisation based in North Carolina, USA, which claims to offer innovative research and development and ... services in health and pharmaceuticals, advanced technology, survey and statistics, education and training, economic and social development, and the environment.

RTI has regularly received many USA government contracts in reconstructing countries in transition, generally helping to implement the neoliberal doctrine of privatising public institutions, especially in Eastern Europe during the 1990s.

In 2003 it was contracted by USAID to help in reconstructing Iraq, after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Specifically, USAID contracted RTI to privatise:

in Iraq.

Table of contents
1 Concerns about RTI
2 External References

Concerns about RTI

While RTI's aim of using scientific research to help build positive social and economic institutions is in itself seen as positive by most people, there are some concerns about its independence and its internal structure.

Since RTI is deeply involved in social and economic institution building claimed to be intended for the good of the local community, some people see a conflict of interest in RTI's close links with corporations, whose primary aim is making profits and using either dictatorship or oligarchy as their internal decision making methods, rather than democracy.

Moreover, RTI itself has a closed, hierarchical, corporate structure rather than an open, non-hierarchical structure such as that of the Linux community, the wikipedia community, Indymedia, or even the fairly open, moderately hierarchical structure of any typical fundamental science research community, where at least some level of democracy among senior scientists, known as collegiality, leads to a less vertical power structure than in private corporations.

These lead some people to worry about lack of scientific freedom in the choice of research goals and methods, as well as the risk of lack of participation by local citizens in the choice of goals and methods and in the choice in how to apply the results of the research.

Rewriting Iraqi textbooks

RTI's contract for education system reform in Iraq, via Creative Associates International in Washington, D.C., caused controversy because RTI planned to rewrite Iraqi school textbooks.

External References