Equitable International Research Cooperation – From affirmations to practice

Veranstaltungsart
Workshop

Ort / Datum
Bonn, 23.10.2023 bis 24.10.2023

Veranstalter

German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and the German Commission for UNESCO


Ensuring equitable research collaboration between partners from low-, middle-, and high-income countries is emphatically affirmed by all guiding strategy documents of Germany’s foreign and research policy. One pertinent example is the Africa Strategy of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which highlights the need for a joint development and implementation of research activities with partners from low- and middle-income countries.

During their joint workshop, the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and the German Commission for UNESCO invited experts to discuss concrete recommendations on what framework conditions are needed such that research collaboration (including also local stakeholders from low- and middle-income countries) can live up to the affirmation of equity. Individually selected experts from ministries and research funders as well as scientists, including from the field of development and forced migration research, were invited to join the debate.

Moving from affirmation to action is urgently needed since knowledge collaboration on global challenges and on transformative agendas needs to be equitable to be effective at all. However, significant asymmetries persist, such as imbalanced and fragmented funding, unequal knowledge visibility and accessibility, and insufficient implementation of equality in practical research collaboration. One pertinent example are the challenges that researchers from low- and middle-income countries face when conducting research in high-income countries. Similarly, among low- and middle-income countries, funding biases towards researchers from high-income countries can further exacerbate disparities in research activities.

In order to significantly improve equity, equality and epistemic inclusion in research cooperation between low- and middle-income countries and Germany, the German Commission for UNESCO with its Expert Committee on Science is currently working on a position paper to address and overcome such challenges and to provide practical solutions for actors in international research cooperation, including funders, academic institutions and political stakeholders.

The objective of this workshop was to jointly reflect and discuss the practical steps that will be outlined in the draft position paper - together with experts and practitioners from research, funding and science policy. Due to its mandate and longstanding experience in international research cooperation, the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) brings in relevant expertise on the matter not only from research but also from a research policy perspective. More in detail, the cooperation project Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT) at IDOS contributes with its network to point to more delicate aspects in research cooperation with particularly vulnerable groups like refugees and displaced persons.

The workshop was jointly organised by the cooperation project Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT) at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and the German Commission for UNESCO.


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