How can we ensure that partnerships are transformative?

Increasing equality in partnerships – views from the field, from policy makers and from funders

Workshop Area A 201 September 6, 2017 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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David Beran, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Partnerships are the pillar of any effective project. Diversity of projects means a multiplicity of possible partnerships, between different institutions, different countries, different fields, different types of organisations (public and private, community based or state based), etc. All of these have their challenges, and need to be managed with creativity and respect to achieve the desired project results.

Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aims to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” and clearly highlights the importance of partnership for implementing the global development agenda. But how can this be done? What are the challenges? What are the different aspects that need to be taken into account when developing and managing a partnership? All these questions are essential. Materials produced by COHRED, KFPE and others provide guiding principles, indicators and best practices. What about the perspectives from the field and funders? How can these tools be used in practice to address the day-to-day realities and challenges of developing, getting funding and successfully implementing a given project? The discussions generated during this session aim to help organisations improve the way they operate with a view of achieving SDG Goal 17.

This session will share personal experiences at a research project, policy and funder level on attempting to build equitable research partnerships. This will attempt to draw out the intersections between incentives and processes at different levels to develop a successful partnership. Following the initial short presentations, which will aim to stimulate debate, the attendees will share their experiences with a moderator guiding the discussion.

The idea is to have a learning workshop where experts from different backgrounds will be able to share their expertise in addressing practical challenges that individuals in the audience and beyond have regarding partnerships. Each participant will have a 10-minute presentation on the topics detailed below:

  1. David Beran, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Introduction of speakers and session
  2. Carel IJsselmuiden, Council on Health Research for Development, Geneva, Switzerland. Setting the scene.
  3. Jon-Andri Lys, Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries, Bern, Switzerland. Guidelines for equitable research partnerships – a short history and some lessons learnt
  4. Maria Amalia Pesantes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Herdia, Peru. Realities from the field: creating equitable partnerships in the COHESION Project.
  5. Sheila Mburu, UK Collaborative on Development Science (UKCDS) , London, UK. The role of funders in equitable and effective international development research collaborations.

After these presentations, the moderator (David Beran) will take questions from the floor as well as address specific questions to each panellist. By taking this approach this session aims to share practical expertise on partnerships; engage a wide range of panellists and participants to actively contribute to the discussion on partnerships; and hopefully shape policies for collaboration at project, institution and policy level.

As part of the background participants might find it useful to review the following documents and websites that the different speakers will make reference to during their talks: