Reframing North-South Research Partnerships

In a multi-polar and polycentric world, the quality and relevance development research rest ever more on the capacity of northern and southern academic institutions to join forces in building effective and equitable research partnerships. This is in particular the case when it comes to addressing the changing forms and spatial distribution of inequality, and to identifying processes, policies and practices that require joined contributions and mutual accountability.

Yet, research partnerships themselves are not immune to unequal, biased relationships considering, for example, the research agendas of the individual partners involved, their actual roles within the partnerships and the funding schemes.

Acknowledging the enhanced research capabilities in the global South – in particular in emerging economies and with the expansion of the modern information and communication technologies – there is arguably an urgent need to improve the quality, outcome and impact of research partnerships, including by reconsidering the institutional setup and capacity-building dimensions of such partnerships. Bilateral aid agencies and research funding institutions  do sometimes design or refer to specific principles and quality criteria for North-South research partnerships as part of their funding scheme and selection criteria.

The panel will examine the evolving policies and practices involved in such partnerships and how funding institutions have – or could – adapt accordingly. The panel includes presentations of experts from funding agencies and research institutions (both from the North and the South) with solid experience in North-South partnerships. They will to discuss the most critical challenges and emerging best practices in funding schemes, proposal designs, research implementation, publishing and disseminating findings, and research-policy transfers.

This panel is organized by the EADI Sub-committee for Research Partnerships and will start with a brief presentation of the outcome of a research on North-South partnerships carried out by the Sub-committee.