From March 28th to 29th, three members of the PACSMAC team – Profs. Christine Noe, Gezahegn Berecha and Janina Grabs – had the opportunity to come to the MS-TCDC in Usa River, Tanzania, and participate in the Science Engagement Days workshop organized by the Danida Fellowship Centre. A gathering of over 50 academics from across the African continent and their Danish and international counterparts, the Science Engagement Days aimed to share knowledge and identify best practices on Equitable Partnerships in development research projects.
Besides listening and reacting to keynote talks in plenary sessions, the participants focused on intensive, collaborative work in four breakout sessions on setting the research agenda, mutual learning, equality in authorship, and financing and institutional set-up. They came up with a number of best practices and recommendations to ensure that Southern and Northern partners have equal opportunity in driving agendas, leading publications, and holding responsibility and agency in research partnerships.
These recommendations targeted both best practices within research teams – for instance, motivating junior team members from the Global South to be first and corresponding authors on manuscripts while providing them with continuous coaching along the process – as well as structural changes in universities and funding agencies – for instance, making funding calls topic-independent to give African academics greater agenda-setting power.
The workshop also gave the opportunity to connect with leading researchers from across the African continent, including Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, and South Africa.
The PACSMAC team members were highly present during the Science Engagement Days. For instance, Prof. Christine Noe was spotlighted in outreach videos such as the one above, while Prof. Janina Grabs was a facilitator of the group on equality in authorship.
In addition, the PACSMAC project was highlighted as a case study of best practices in equitable research partnerships by keynote speaker Sarah Ssali, Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Gender Studies at Makerere University, Uganda.
We look forward to taking additional impulses on board to ensure that our project is a truly equitable partnership! Thank you very much to the Danida Fellowship Council for their invitation!