Establishing effective partnerships for humanitarian research and practice

Today's post is based upon the above event which took place at the Overseas Development Institute today.

To sum up, the event aimed to launch the Effective academic-humanitarian collaboration: A practical resource to support academic and humanitarian organisations working together report from 
Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA). Areas discussed included:

  • the benefit of researcher-practitioner partnerships and the two-way learning process involved;
  • the necessity to acknowledge the political nature of humanitarianism and understand the people involved in such projects;
  • the worthiness of humanitarian research, however the pointlessness of it if not effectively communicated and consequently implemented in practice; 
  • the current lack of communication between practitioners and 'beneficiaries';
  • the lack of consideration of the long-term impact of projects.

Whilst not explicitly mentioning education, the event and the discussions involved are extremely relevant to educational research and educational development in the global context, particularly given the current gap between research carried out in the academic world and work in the field. A salient point coming from today's event was, and is, the time constraints humanitarian and development workers face, and therefore their inability to meet requirements outlined by research.

Of course it is not a new debate that partnerships between humanitarian research and practice could be of great benefit for all involved. However, the newly released report is perhaps different in that it aims to act as a working resource with input and examples on successful practices, or useful resources welcomed. Admittedly, I remain somewhat sceptical given past debates that have emerged in the international development community; debates which have had little impact on partnerships. I posed this scepticism to the panel at today's event with the question: How will this time be different? I was told that we can no longer afford to carry out research for research's sake, and that evidence shows the pressing need for such partnerships right now. Here's hoping this time will be different.

You can find the resource from ELRHA here. A pdf version is said to be available in a few weeks. 

Your thoughts on researcher-practitioner partnerships?

Can they help us achieve our global educational ideals more effectively?

1 comment:

  1. Dr Kerawani on LinkedIn:
    It is so important to cooperate in joint researches between academic or scientific institutions, but we have to consider the different cultures and its effect on the findings of humanitarian researches among these different cultures specially the studies which explore attitudes.