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Tag Archives: systems thinking
The idea of ‘world class universities’ grips the higher education sector, driven by several big international rankings. It’s an idea that is no less popular when it comes to many of the countries in which INASP works. But when it comes to research and higher education for development, is it world class universities that we should be pursuing? Different institutions to do different things Goolam Mohamedbhai argues that what African higher education needs is ‘mission differentiation’, namely a range of institutions doing different things. Rather than focusing on creating new universities, governments should instead be supporting existing institutions in different ways – some to become more research-focused, and some to concentrate more on undergraduate education. ‘It would be impossible, and unnecessary, for most staff in all tertiary institutions on the continent to have a PhD’ he argues. In a similar vein, Lynn Meek argues that our emphasis should be on … Continue reading
This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability In our last two posts, we discussed how INASP’s thinking on capacity building has been influenced by some recent debates on systems and complexity (and also by many years of experience) and how we go about understanding the national research systems in which we work. In the intervening weeks we’ve had some really valuable comments, and had the opportunity to reflect further as our programmes continue to unfold. As we’ve said before, we see ourselves as a ‘doing’ organisation, and want to try and ground this discussion in specific, practical experience as far as we can. So here we want to offer some examples of these approaches in three of the countries we’re working in – Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability In our first post we talked about how INASP’s thinking around capacity building has been influenced by recent debates on complexity and systems thinking and by our 2012 evaluation. We also outlined what we mean when we talk about research systems. In this post we want to discuss how we go about understanding the national research systems we operate in, and how we make the most of our relatively modest role within these systems. Understanding the system When we set out to understand national level research systems we noticed a lack of documented research or case-studies in developing countries. So, as a first step, we commissioned profiles from partners in each country. The focus of the profiles was on documenting the formal components of … Continue reading
This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability There’s been a lot of thought-provoking discussion in the last year or so of how we can ‘do development’ better. Capacity building, systems thinking and complexity, power and politics, convening and brokering – all of these have become increasingly popular themes across the development sector, and in the smaller ‘research for development’ corner. In the last 12 months we’ve also been doing some serious thinking at INASP about how we can better deliver on our mission to ‘put research at the heart of development’ and the themes above felt particularly relevant. We work in three broad areas: access to research literature, producing and communicating southern research, and supporting the use of research in policy making across 23 countries. But we’re a small NGO, working … Continue reading