Equitable Partnerships Guide
North-South research partnerships can create a variety of opportunities and benefits for all parties but also bring with them their own unique set of considerations and challenges. Building and maintaining equitable partnerships can help ensure that research outcomes are mutually beneficial and more likely to achieve the desired development impact.
The resources below provide advice and guidance for equitable research partnerships at all stages of the relationship, including:
- Building equitable research partnerships
- Evaluating and improving established research partnerships
- Resources for capacity strengthening
The NIHR does not promote any particular organisations or values relating to the information provided, and individuals and teams are encouraged to review these resources and apply what is useful or relevant to them.
Building equitable research partnerships
These resources provide guidance on how to ensure that the concept of equity is built into a partnership from its formation, as well as advice on how to organise research collaborations to achieve a mutual spread of responsibilities and benefits.
- Building partnerships of Equals: The role of funders in equitable and effective international development research collaborations. UKCDR (2017).
- Striking the Balance – Between Competition, Collaboration and Impact in International Development Research Calls and Programmes. UKCDR (2017)
- A Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships. Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) (2014).
- Developing a framework for successful research partnerships in global health. Larkan et al. (2016).
- The Rethinking Research Partnerships guide is aimed at partnerships between academics and NGOs, but it provides practical approaches that are useful for exploring equitable research relationships in both new and established partnerships.
- This ESSENCE Good Practice Document aims to provide clear guidelines and practical tips on improving research costing and pricing. It focusses specifically on research costing and pricing for research institutions in LMICs and their funders. It outlines some of the challenges involved in research costing and offer recommendations for addressing these based on case studies from the experiences of LMIC institutions and grant managers. ESSENCE (2020)
Evaluating and improving established research partnerships
These resources aim to with provide researchers with the tools to reflect and evaluate on the partnerships that they have formed, and consider ways that they might be improved to be made more equitable.
- The Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) Partnership Assessment Tool may be useful in helping research teams develop shared principles and norms, generate consensus on aims and to evaluate phases of the research partnership.
- The Rethinking Research Partnerships guide.
- The Research Fairness Initiative (RFI) Evidence Base provides a wealth of useful literature relating to partnership fairness in research.
Resources for capacity strengthening
For researchers looking to ensure that their partnerships can optimise the benefits experienced by collaborating institutions, and result in sustainable, long-term improvements to research infrastructure.
- The Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) provide several valuable resources that provide guidance for LMIC research partners:
- Fairer Research Contracting guidance
- Technical Guidance on areas such as intellectual property, data ownership and indirect costs
- Building Institutions through Equitable Partnerships in Global Health – Conference report. Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal College of Physicians, the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Universities UK (2012).
- UKCDS – Finding and building effective partnerships – please see “Compiled resources” for resources on capacity strengthening initiatives
Further reading and background information
- Equitable Partnerships Resource Hub. UKCDR and ESSENCE (2021).
- Africa-EU Research Collaboration on Health: A Critical Analysis of the Scope, Outputs and Potential Outcomes. CAAST-Net Plus (2016).
- Developing Partnerships. Nature. Editorial (2015).
- Promoting Sustainable Research Partnerships – a mixed methods evaluation. Dean et al. (2015).