Tag Archives: systems

How do you build a ‘system view’ of a country – and then what do you do next?
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In the last year or so we’ve been grappling at INASP with what it means to take a systems approach to capacity building (and we’re not the only ones thinking about this, as ITAD’s framework suggests). As we blogged last year, we have begun by trying to develop a more detailed ‘systems’ view of some of the countries in which we work. It’s an exploratory approach – and these are by no means detailed, in-depth pieces of analysis. But they do give us a much richer understanding of some of the key enablers and obstacles to our work. And they show that light-but-valuable analysis of this type is within the scope of even a small NGO like INASP (we currently have around 30 members of staff, working in over 20 countries). Step one:  a quick sketch We’ve taken a two-stage approach. Firstly we’ve quickly mapped the research and knowledge system … Continue reading

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 3
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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.

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 2
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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

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme
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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

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