Research collaboration has clear benefits, but can be stymied by funding, ethical, trust and coordination issues, especially where multiple linkages require cooperation across different disciplines, several actors, areas of government as well as across different countries. The nature of collaboration is changing and becoming increasingly complex, with increasing recognition being given to the importance of South-South collaboration, and the evolution in the relationships of North-South partnerships.
In an article entitled, “European partnerships for demand-led agricultural research and capacity development: the case of Africa” Tim Chancellor, Michael Hauser, and Paolo Sarfatti of the European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development (AGRINATURA) describe the organisation’s work as part of the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD). Strategic partnerships with agricultural research and development (ARD) organisations especially in sub-Saharan Africa have been developed to address African priorities although emerging agricultural issues affect Europe too. The article highlights the practicalities of effective collaborations, and the increasing role of building research partnerships with farmer organisations in ensuring that research is focused on local needs and delivers greater impact on the ground.
In “Partnerships in agricultural innovation systems: an African researcher’s perspective”, Moses Osiru. notes the difficulties researchers in Africa have in developing and sustaining balanced partnerships given the lack of reliable sources of long-term funding. The importance is stressed of North-South and South-South partnerships through targeted programmes and favourable funding mechanisms that allow African institutions to build capacity and negotiate greater leverage in areas where they have comparative advantage, with a focus on developing commercial products.
A series of documents and links gives access to publications about best practices in developing partnerships and to useful networking information.
This folder was prepared by CABI, KIT and CTA in April 2014.