Reshaping INASP for the future

Knowledge and evidence enable solutions that address global challenges and transform lives, but world events and the news surrounding them continue to remind us that there are voices that are not heard, talent that is wasted and research which is not used.

That is why the focus of our 2020-2025 strategy is on addressing inequities within and between research and knowledge systems in order to support an ecosystem that includes many voices, many types of institution and many types of knowledge.

In order to do this, INASP itself and the way we do our work must change.  Our strategy defined the intention for INASP to be more Southern-led, to work more in coalition with others, to deliver more of our own work online and draw more on Southern expertise, and to have a flexible delivery model that enables us to be sustainable for the future.  Our recent appointments of a Southern chair and three Southern trustees are an important part of this transition.

The pace and imperative for change that we anticipated when developing our strategy in 2019 has been rapidly accelerated by the extreme shifts in the external environment of the past 18 months – in particular, the impact of Covid and shifts in UK funding for International Development.  Given the pace of change in the external environment, we need to accelerate our plans for organisational change.

The proposed future shape of INASP is one in which a smaller core of staff support a larger network of associates (particularly from the global South) to implement programme work.

John Young, Executive Director explains:  “This model builds on INASP’s long history of delivering work in partnership with a wide range of individuals and institutions, and aligns with our strategic intent to move the balance of INASP to the South, to ensure our work is better rooted in and connected to the research & knowledge systems it aims to serve, and to enable us to develop a more flexible and environmentally sustainable way of providing our expertise.”

During August and September we are consulting with staff  and the board to develop a new organisational structure that will ensure INASP continues to deliver its work to the same high standard and levels of impact.  The new structure will be finalised in early October and implemented in January.

We are a values-led organisation, committed to transparency, collaboration and fairness. Our values will guide our approach and decision making throughout this process and we will keep partners, funders and other key stakeholders updated as we progress.

“INASP’s vison of research at the heart of development is as important and relevant today as it was 30 years ago, but the way in which INASP delivers it’s mission over this time has – and will continue to – evolve,” says Jo Beall, outgoing Chair of INASP’s board of trustees. “It’s exciting to be part of an organisation that continues to think deeply about its own role and shape and is not afraid to change. I know the organisation will continue to deliver great work with a new structure and Southern-led board.”

Verity Warne
Verity Warne is Director of Communications & Engagement at INASP.

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