INASP partners consider the road ahead


Over the last 25 years, INASP has enjoyed developing partnerships that have been helping us to support both institutions and individuals to produce, share and use research and knowledge which can transform lives.

In a recent post, INASP partners reflected on achievements over the past quarter of a century. This blog post looks at some approaches that INASP’s associates and partners believe will continue to be important for INASP going forward.

Commitment to long-term partnership

Sustainable capacity development – meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – is an important aspect of how we work, as set out in the INASP strategy for 2016-2020. A study we carried out last year reviewed how sustainability is built into how we work and this is important as we move towards the end of our five-year Strengthening Research and Knowledge Systems (SRKS) programme.

This approach is shown in the way we work with institutional partners, as INASP Associate Barbara Gastel pointed out with AuthorAID:

“One way to have more impact is to embed INASP’s AuthorAID activities in various countries. Early in the embedding effort, AuthorAID funded a faculty member from Sri Lanka to take a course I was giving in Texas. Embedding has now grown into a core component of AuthorAID’s work. It now involves 10 institutional partners in four countries.”

Expanded reach through online capacity development

Online learning has become a core part of the approaches used by AuthorAID and has been shown to be successful. There are a range of types of AuthorAID online courses, including Spanish-language courses run in conjunction with Latindex, of which INASP Associate Alejandra Arreola is one of the facilitators:

“I am biased, but I think the online courses is one of INASP’s greatest contributions. The Spanish online course, and our collaboration with Latindex, allowed INASP/AuthorAID to reach the untapped Latin American market. There is a great need for capacity building on research writing and communication in Latin America. The free online course was the first of its kind, and has reached thousands of researchers all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. One of the things the course does, and I feel is a very important one, is raise awareness of predatory journals. The discussions about research and publishing ethics are also very enriching.”

Promoting South-South knowledge sharing

In a post earlier this year, Jacinta Were, who is a Kenya-based INASP Associate connected particularly with e-resource access and library consortia, pointed to the potential in South-South learning.

“A lot of countries have come up with [library] consortia. Some are well developed, others are just starting. Kenya’s consortium is well developed, it has a good management structure and is sustaining itself, whereas Ethiopia’s just starting. We thought of collaborating so that Kenya Library Consortium could support the Ethiopian Library Consortium. The Ethiopian team came to Kenya and stayed for a week and we were able to collaborate and to interact and to give them ideas…and I remained on board to communicate between Ethiopia and the Kenya Library Consortium.”

This approach has also been and important aspect to our Evidence Informed Policy Making work. INASP’s Evidence-Informed Policy Making team have been working with parliaments and partners across Africa to improve the use of evidence in decision-making by facilitating peer learning.

Dr Rasheed Draman, Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), said:

“Through peer learning, lessons on overcoming challenges have been and continue to be learnt, i.e. during some of the joint activities organized by INASP and ACEPA for partner parliaments. Peer learning with EIPM has huge potential for improving parliamentary democracy and development.“

This post includes reflections from just a small selection of our many partners, but demonstrates how our core pillars of capacity development, convening, influencing and working in partnership are all central to our identity as a catalyst for change. We are committed to continually improving our capabilities and methodologies in order to develop responsive approaches that reflect the context in which our partners work. Thank you to all our partners for sharing our vision for a world where development is enabled by research and knowledge.

Kate Harvey

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