Trying to be better partners: practical perspectives on navigating the tensions

SOAS and Oxford have been coordinating a series on Research for Development over the past year that has focused on exploring ethical and practical challenges around development-oriented research. In recent times the series has also begun to examine the implications of undertaking research in the age of Covid. In our final session of the series we aim to reflect on the lessons learned throughout the series and hear about some of the practical challenges of establishing and sustaining equitable partnerships from researchers and research managers working in development research.

The session aims to summarise some of the key findings from the series so far and will focus on the following three questions:

1. In what way has the funding landscape changed over the past 5 years and to what end has it dis/en-abled collaborative partnerships between the UK and the Global South? Speakers will provide personal reflections on how they built trust with their partners whilst navigating the practical tensions of applying for funding and undertaking the research e.g. financial, language, and cultural barriers.
2. How can Institutional policies and procedures prevent or promote positive partnerships? Can we build more direct/systematic communication paths between funders and research institutions/researchers in order to overcome unintended consequences of institutional policies?
3. What more could be done to support researchers/institutions to become better partners and utilise these insights/reflections to develop a roadmap for future collective action?