Nairobi workshop energises Leicester approach to development research

Posted by crm28 at May 12, 2017 04:31 PM |
The University recently kicked off an innovative approach to international development research with a high-level workshop in Nairobi.

The Nairobi workshop was hosted by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor Iain Gillespie, and was designed as a foundation from which to build long term, strategic and internationally impactful relationships.

The workshop was attended by academics and thought leaders from seven sub-Saharan African countries as well as the UK and France. Attendees included numerous Vice-Chancellors, Pro- and Deputy-Vice-Chancellors, the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the African Academy of Sciences, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, and a number of NGOs and advocacy organisations who are making a tangible difference in challenging circumstances.


The key objectives of the workshop were:

  • To explore mechanisms for influencing global research agendas in more equitable ways.
  • To establish effective delivery pathways for development research through the creation of equitable partnerships.
  • To enable impactful outcomes for all partners

    The workshop has not only prepared the ground for key research collaborations with the universities of Nairobi, Rwanda, Malawi and Witwatersrand, but has also already resulted in the preparation of a working paper, two journal articles, and three grant applications. Much more than this, Leicester will continue to develop long-term sustainable partnerships that extend beyond individual projects, and form the basis of fruitful future collaborations, but also act as enabling platforms for wider engagement with inspirational, international researchers.


    The opportunity to meet colleagues and collaborators from our partner institutions in person, rather than through email and Skype, was fantastic. The way that the workshop was organised meant that everyone had the chance to meet all participants and this led to a number of new and exciting conversations about future developments in research and teaching.
    Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Media, Communications and Sociology


    This visit was a fantastic opportunity to spend two days with our research collaborators in Kenya – the workshop facilitated discussions about opportunities (and challenges) for building equitable and sustainable international partnerships, and outside of the formal workshop programme the face-to-face discussions with our collaborators was invaluable.
    Dr Lisa Smith, Criminology

    The Nairobi workshop created a comfortable, productive environment to discuss both individual collaborative projects and strategic university and regional relationships.  It provided an excellent foundational approach for equitable, sustainable partnership building in the context of research for international development, and in two days seems remarkably to have created a step change in our institutional position as a research collaborator in East Africa and South Africa.
    Dr Joshua Vande Hey, Physics and Astronomy

    The workshop exemplifies our approach to building equitable partnerships, and places the university at the vanguard of contemporary international development research. Leicester has already put this value into action, and notably was the only UK institution at the launch of the Kenyan Newton Fund.

    If you’d like to find out more about the workshop, or talk about your own development research ideas, please get in touch with the Research Development Manager for your College or Dr Di Levine.

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