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Partnered Research Programmes Working Group

A Peer-Learning Initiative on Designing, Monitoring and Evaluating Partnered Research Programmes


The origins of the partnered research programmes working group (PRPWG) can be traced back to the GRC regional meeting consultations that was held during 2016-2017[1] in Ottawa Canada. At these meetings, research councils examined their roles in promoting the interplay between research and innovation.[2] Among the ways research councils promote this interplay is by funding research collaboration between academic and non-academic partners. How councils design, implement and measure results of such programmes generated considerable interest. 

To advance the conversation, the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) convened a Roundtable in June 2017 with eighteen funding agencies.[3] The discussion indicated that much could be gained through comparing how agencies design, monitor and evaluate partnered research programmes, and potentially draw on that knowledge to refine and/or harmonize monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks for application in future programmes they support. Given the interest of a number of research councils in the proposed topic, IDRC and NRF secured internal support to coordinate the Initiative and commissioned the peer learning initiative working in close collaboration with the PRPWG. 


This Peer-Learning Initiative of Partnered research programmes seeks to promote exchange of perspectives on how research councils may overcome these knowledge gaps, and through this process build the evidence base, competencies and develop tools to assist funding agencies better design, monitor and evaluate partnered research programmes.  The following definition of ‘partnered research’ is industry-centric in focus but it could equally apply to other non-academic partners:

“…we broadly define such schemes as those aiming to stimulate or develop interaction between sources of research knowledge (such as public research laboratories and universities) and the potential users of such research (firms) which are centred on the joint undertaking of clearly identified research projects and which may also entail the placement of personnel (typically students) within an industrial location.”[4]

The Final Report (available shortly) presents findings from the peer-learning exercise on partnered research programmes based on case studies from nine countries (Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland and Uruguay). This document specifically presents concepts for designing, monitoring and evaluating partnered research programmes based on the case studies.

[1] O’Brien, David and Matthew Wallace (2017).  Strengthening Capacity and Connectivity Among Research Councils. Background Report for the 6th Annual Global Research Council Meeting. IDRC: Ottawa. http://hdl.handle.net/10625/56874

[2] The two relevant Statement of Principles emerging from the GRC meeting are the dynamic interplay between research and innovation (here) and building capacity among research councils (here).

[3] IDRC and NRF (2017) The Partnered Research Roundtable Report. International Development Research Centre: Ottawa, and National Research Foundation: Pretoria. URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10625/56664

[4] Paul Cunningham and Abdullah Gök (2012) “The Impact and Effectiveness of Policies to Support Collaboration for R&D and Innovation” Nesta Working Paper No. 12/06.

Current PRPWG members are:

David O'Brien (Co-Lead)

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Jorge Tezón

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Alejandro Ulises Uribe Castillo

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)

Camilo Alfredo Figueroa Moy ‎

Concejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONCYTEC)

Diana Ninoshka Castillo Morales

Concejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONCYTEC)

Emilia Espósito     

Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII)

Fabio Bonanno

Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII)

Claudia ZingerliSwiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Amine Maliki    Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST)
Ahmad AlabdulqadirKing Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)
Saudi Arabia
Sub-Saharan Africa 
Sepo Hachigonta (Co-Lead)National Research Foundation (NRF)
South Africa
Aldo Stroebel National Research Foundation (NRF)
South Africa