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Transboundary research collaborations: An evaluation against 11 principles of transboundary research

Conference contribution
Authors Shelley Kotze
Mirek Dymitrow
Published in MiReKoc – 15th Anniversary Conference on Migration and Development in the ‘Global South’: “Research Challenges and Implications”, Migration Research Center at Koç University, 24–25 October 2019, Istanbul, Turkey
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Mistra Urban Futures
Language en
Links https://mirekoc15.ku.edu.tr/confere...
Keywords transboundary research, academia, collaboration, evaluation, North-South
Subject categories Sociology, Theory of science, Peace and development research, Human Geography, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that transboundary research collaborations are critical in supporting evidence-based actions to address global issues, such as sustainable development. Normally taking the form of universities or research institutions from the North and South working together, collaborations study a particular set of issues through a variety of activities through which both research partners pool their resources, share and co-create knowledge. This presentation focuses on one such example of a transboundary collaboration, the Sweden-Kenya Interactive Learning Lab (SKILLs), a collaboration between Gothenburg, Sweden, and Kisumu, Kenya, facilitated by Mistra Urban Futures. Starting as an exchange of PhD students between the two platforms in 2012, SKILLs has now developed into a collaboration programme with the overall aim of contributing to sustainable urban development in the two contexts. A mass of theoretical literature exists about how transboundary collaborations should be organised, how academics and practitioners might behave in its facilitation and how could be better facilitate. However, there is a lack of empirics which detail how transboundary collaborations are organised, how academics and PR actioners do behave and how activities are facilitated. Our evaluation seeks to address this gap through the evaluation of the SKILLs platform against the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries’ (KFPE) 11 principles for transboundary research collaborations. The evaluation takes the form of semi-structured interviews with pervious and current platform managers, as well as key participants, including researchers and PhD students, in both contexts, with interviewees being asked to score the SKILLs platform against the 11 said principles. The evaluation is expected to add to the limited existing empirical knowledge about how the process of transboundary is enacted, and provide a point of consideration for the structural asymmetries, unspoken assumptions and operational constraints that can affect what is deemed successful within transboundary collaborations.

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