EADI World Café Session at 19th Global Development Conference in Bonn

Categories: Category “News from EADI Category “EADI Major News

14 Nov 2019

At the recent Global Development Conference "Knowledge for Sustainable Development - The Research-Policy-Nexus" EADI facilitated a lively World Café Session. The event "“A question of shared responsibility? Debating roles, processes and risks within the research – practice nexus” brought together researchers from different fields of study as well as practitioners to discuss the realities of research-practice collaborations.

Three thematic tables were set up to inspire discussions of the challenges of research-practice collaborations, their ethical implications as well as success factors from the perspectives of researchers, think tanks and facilitators. The main ethical concerns were power relations in research-practice collaborations, which can be tackled by including ethical facilitators or brokers, and the sharing of results with the communities involved.

As main challenges to research-practice collaborations, especially in the field of evidence-based policy advice, participants discussed the political cycles which can distract from long-term perspectives, intransparent policies, finding sources of funding as well as the clash between research and political agendas.

As success factors for research-practice collaborations, trust, institutional relationships and adequate funding for partners from the Global South as well as the openness to experiments and failures were named.

Talia Vela/Eiden, EADI and Bridge 47 Knowledge Exchange Partnerships Officer shared some insights from the Bridge 47 Project's experience with knowldge exchange partnerships:

  1. The main enabling factor has been a common ground between academics and civil society organizations of the need to work together on a common agenda for advocacy and policymaking change on GCE in the countries participating in the initiative. Bridge 47 has facilitated a space for exchange through financial support for meetings, publications and dissemination activities. These have encouraged participants to engage in ways to achieve concrete outcomes on the issues that interest them (advocacy, capacity-building, communications)
  2. The main challenge is to achieve the sustainability of the partnerships in the middle- and long-terms. Bridge 47 is a time-bound initiative that might need to be retaken in other settings and setups. This is yet up for discussion with the participants in the partnerships.
  3. At Bridge 47 an internal transformative learning journey has allowed the members of the consortium and its partners to reflect on the dilemmas pondered by the Global North and Global South divide and the power asymmetries attached to them. At the Knowledge Exchange Partnerships level, mainly conformed by European academics and civil society organizations, ethical issues have been part of the discussion especially in the exchange on GCE projects addressed to minorities or immigrant and refugee groups in Europe. Among participants themselves this is less of an issue as they share values, background and expertise on Global Citizenship Education at different levels. The main consideration that could be identified is the question of biases derived by those commonalities.

Session chair was Sven Grimm (DIE-GDI).

Panelists were Katja Bender, Director of the International Centre for Sustainable Development, Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň, senior researcher at the Institute for International Relations, Czech Republic, Maru Mormina, senior researcher and ethics advisor at Oxford University, Talia Vela-Eiden, EADI Knowledge Exchange Partnerships Officer, Bridge 47 - Building Global Citizenship Project and Peter Krahl from the research department of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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