A new report and learning resources published this week (8 October 2018) by the Rethinking Research Collaborative, highlight the importance of equitable collaboration for poverty reduction in research that seeks to address global challenges.
The report, Promoting Fair and Equitable Research Partnerships to Respond to Global Challenges, led by Principal Investigator, Dr Jude Fransman, Research Fellow in the OU’s Learning and Technology Innovation, looks at how fair and equitable partnerships between academics and practitioners across the global North and South can best address the challenges faced by developing countries.
The report and learning resources were endorsed by UK Research and Innovation and emerged from a programme of strategic research and capacity strengthening that was funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The project generated new data and practical tools informed by the perspectives of three key groups of ‘research partner’: academics and practitioners based in the global South and UK-based international brokers and NGOs. The project took a systemic approach to understanding collaboration.
“Improving research partnerships also means improving the research systems in which they are situated,” said Dr Fransman. “This has implications for strengthening capacity not just of individual researchers and their organisations to engage in fairer and more equitable practice, but also of research funding and governance systems in and beyond the UK.”
The report presents findings from the project and identifies eight principles for different stakeholder groups to apply to engage with the politics of partnerships.
These include putting poverty first and responding to context, redressing evidence hierarchies and committing to transparency.
These principles provide a useful resource for OU researchers who are currently engaged in or interested in forming research partnerships. The targeted learning module for UK-based academics offers guidance on putting the principles into practice, while the modules on other global challenge research stakeholders (funders, brokers, international NGOs and academics and civil society practitioners based in the global South) offer insight into the realities of these other groups.