Equitable partnerships are essential for delivering impact through international development research. While there are a range of principles and guidance aimed at supporting funders and the research community to support equitable partnerships, these resources are often on different platforms, with no centralised repository.
We at UKCDR and ESSENCE have therefore partnered to deliver the Equitable Partnerships Resources Hub. Our blog below sets out more about this initiative, and why building equitable partnerships is essential to the research process.
Global research challenges need global expertise
As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges the world faces are more interconnected than ever. Research has been central to the COVID-19 response and continues to be pivotal for addressing global issues such as climate change, poverty reduction and economic development. To effectively address these challenges, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need truly global research expertise.
Equitable research partnerships are necessary for research impact
Over the past few decades we have seen a rise in international research partnerships, in which researchers from the “Global North” and “Global South” work together to address these global and multi-sectoral challenges. Historicallybeen marked by inequity and extractive practices. To address this, there has been a growing awareness of and action towards building more equitable research partnerships. However, persisting power asymmetries remain.
Research partnerships are built on mutual respect and trust, with all partners involved in design, delivery and dissemination. Without equal value placed on the voices and expertise of the Global South at all stages of the research process, international development research will not achieve the desired impact. Therefore, equitable partnerships are not only a moral imperative, they are essential to achieve greater research impact and effectively tackle the world’s greatest development challenges.
How funders can ensure equitable research partnerships
We at UKCDR and ESSENCE wanted to address this problem, and so are partnering to launch the Equitable Partnerships Resources Hub. The purpose of this resource hub is to create a central repository for resources on equitable partnerships and support the researcher community (funders and researchers alike) to gain awareness of these guidance, and more importantly, embed them into their practices. This will be a living resource, and we will continue to update it with relevant resources. If you have any resources you think we should add, please do email these to email@example.com.
From principles to practice
The equitable partnership resource hub is only one step towards supporting equitable research partnerships. UKCDR is also working in partnership with ESSENCE, and The Equitable Partnerships Taskforce* to support global research funders to identify remaining barriers to and enablers of equitable partnerships.
Collectively, we will develop practical guidance on how funders can operationalise equitable partnership principles, with innovative recommendations on how they can embed these partnership principles into their practices.
*The Equitable Partnerships Taskforce brings together a range of global research funders of international development research, with an interest in supporting equitable research partnerships.
The guide links the underlying rationale for multi-stakeholder partnerships, with a clear four phase process model, a set of seven core principles, key ideas for facilitation and 60 participatory tools for analysis, planning and decision making.
At the March 30-31 2006 meeting of the (OECD)/Development Assistance Committee (DAC) network on development evaluation, representatives of the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) presented their observations on the growing need to develop consensus principles and standards for the evaluation of Global and Regional Partnership Programs (GRPPs).