Presentation on theme: "IDRC TTU Event, Nairobi, Kenya 21-22 May 2014. Research environment in SSA Universities/university based researchers Think tanks NGOs/CSOs Global."— Presentation transcript:
Research environment in SSA Universities/university based researchers Think tanks NGOs/CSOs Global and regional research organisations e.g. AERC, APHC, PASGR, GDN etc International & regional bodies –e.g. World Bank, ADB, AU etc National government bodies – Ministries, central banks
What is the nature of the relationship between think tanks and universities in Africa? What is the influence on these relationships of different types of capacity building support provided by funding organisations?
Improve mutual understanding of organisational interests, dynamics and priorities; Consider the opportunities, benefits and barriers associated with collaborations; Understand whether efforts to strengthen research or build capacity in one type of organisation influence the other; and, Dialogue on new or better ways for the two organisations to collaborate.
10 country case studies Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda (East Africa) Benin, Nigeria & Senegal (West Africa) Mozambique, South Africa & Zimbabwe (Southern Africa) Common framework/survey tools covering Think tanks and universities as institutions Individuals within think tanks and universities Third party organisations Focus group discussions Validation/findings sharing meetings
Think tank - an organisation that generates policy- oriented research in social sciences with the aim of enabling public policy actors to make informed decisions. University – an institution of higher learning providing facilities for social science graduate teaching and research, and authorised to grant academic degrees Third party organisation – Any country-based organisation (public or private) that relates with universities & think tanks as a funder and/or user of their outputs
CountryUniversitiesThink tanksThird party Total Instit. interviews Indiv. interviews Total Instit. interviews Indiv. interviews Benin481966157 Ethiopia8153010 207 Kenya95166677 Mozambique55598136 Nigeria1116301312207 Senegal3153010 207 South Africa11202613 910 Tanzania59205595 Uganda692499147 Zimbabwe35239961 Total 65107223908813364
Most collaborations are between individuals (based at Universities) and think tanks; mainly informal Collaborations are mainly in research and training and less in policy dialogue and consultancy except in Ethiopia Collaborations are mainly donor funded except in SA and Zimbabwe No clear evidence that research in think tanks informs training programmes in universities.
Credibility Ideological alignment Extra income Opportunity to publish Academic recognition Improving quality Donor requirement (in a few instances)
Sharing of facilities e.g. libraries, student attachments Reliance on part-time university staff by some TTs as a cost-cutting strategy Interest in communicating policy messages in a manner that goes beyond dissemination of “academic findings” Getting connected to the policy world/networks and to other resources
Lack of information and communication channels Traditions and attitudes (Gulf between theory and practice) Variation in funding sources & modalities Intellectual independence Absence of a deliberate and formalised collaborative culture Limited financial and human resources Type and leadership of think tank
A clear agenda/objectives Common interests Mutual respect and recognition Shared understanding of financial commitments Personal informal relationships Commitment & respect for timelines
Collaboration creates a win-win situation where each organisation has comparative advantages Each is a recruitment ground for the other which enables ideas to be transferred between them and promotes mutual understanding. TTs and universities play a complementary role Supporting collaboration does not necessarily have to be financial or involve huge funds TTs packaging findings from universities Budget discussions Holding quarterly seminars
Different ways of enhancing collaborations should be country specific Country context determines collaborations and influence of donors – no uniform way of influencing collaborations by donors Governments could play a critical role in encouraging collaborations between TTs and universities - should be involved in the discussions Sustainability of TTs is largely dependent on a vibrant university sector Collaboration is mainly initiated by TTs with individuals in universities 1
1 How Research is Used How Researchers and Users are Developed How Research is Done