Is it Heuristics in Use or ‘Ritualistic and Instrumentalist’ in Purpose? Neoliberal Philosophy and the Use of KAPS (Knowledge, Attitude and Practise Surveys) in a Least Developed Nation

Avaniendra Chakravartty*
B.P.Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Dharan, Nepal

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© 2018 Avaniendra Chakravartty.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the B.P.Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Dharan Nepal; Tel: 025-525555; E-mail:



Isms affect the way we think, define, approach and seek to understand and solve any particular issue or condition. The particular ism that prevails currently has been labeled as neoliberalism. Here the ways that researchers use KAPS for various health issues or conditions and the extent to which it is connected to the existing reality along with its pragmatic utility are assessed. Based on how heuristics is conceptualized the use of KAPs is heuristics in use. The primary task of this article embarks is on determining whether the researches using KAPS has any heuristic purpose or is it just fulfilling some self- centered ritualistic and instrumentalist objective. The focus here is on Nepal but that does not mean that the arguments made here is not applicable to other nations that have similar socio-economic conditions.

Methods/ Findings:

The data selected here are researches done by an epistemic community presented in two national conferences. The methodology followed is based on dialectical reflexivity and the approach adopted is auto-ethnographic. The dominance of procrustean, atomistic, dehistoricized, reductionist and individualist philosophy that deemphasizes structural relations is seen. The incorporation of neoliberal values has created a trend where researches seem to solely serve ritualistic and instrumentalist purpose.

Keywords: Isms, KAPS, Neoliberalism, Heuristics, Ritualistics, Instrumentalist.