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Breaking the barriers programme overview

Over the past decade, Christian Aid and its partners have worked with communities without access to energy across Africa and Latin America. We have achieved this through the installation, distribution and integration of sustainable energy products and technologies in our programmes. We provide innovative financing models, as well as business and technical assistance.  

Research brokers in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed at research brokers, organisations that facilitate research partnerships by playing a brokering, technical support or capacity development role. It asks what research brokers bring to research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for research brokers to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

Funders in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed at research funders, in particular on the bodies that make up UK Research and Innovation, and specifically their remits under the Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund. It asks what funders bring to research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for funders to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

UK-based academics in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed at UK-based academics, those working in research roles in a university or higher education institute. It asks what UK-based academics bring to international development research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for UK-based academics to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

Southern academics in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed at academics based in universities in the global South. It asks what academics based in the global South bring to research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for academics based in the global South to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

Southern CSOs in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed CSOs in the global South with a development focus, which may be expressed in terms of poverty alleviation or human rights. It asks what CSOs in the global South bring to research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for Southern CSOs to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

International NGOs in fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This module is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It is aimed at international NGOs, non-profit organisations performing a variety of service, humanitarian and advocacy functions, across multiple countries in a global context. It asks what international NGOs bring to research partnerships and describes challenges they commonly encounter. It goes on to provide a checklist of questions for international NGOs to ask at each stage of a research process, two tools that they will find useful for reflection, and short summaries of other useful publications.

Introduction to fair and equitable research partnerships

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This introduction is the first in a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It describes what fair and equitable research partnerships are and why they are important, before introducing eight principles for working towards this kind of partnership. It goes on to outline the structure of the six modules in the resource set of resources and suggest guidance for their use. 

Fair and equitable research partnerships case study: Dr Bhavani

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This case study is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. The case study explores insights from Dr Bhavani RV of the of the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in India, project manager for Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), an international research partnership funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) (2012–18). After situating the organisational identity of MSSRF and its involvement as lead agency in the LANSA research programme consortium, Dr Bhavani explores several learning points relating to fair and equitable research partnerships – from negotiation of ethical considerations to adaptation of research approach and consortium governance. Finally, she reflects on ways in which MSSRF has both contributed and benefited from involvement in the LANSA research consortium.  

Fair and equitable research partnerships case study: Eric Gutierrez

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This case study is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. The case study explores insights from Eric Gutierrez of Christian Aid, who was involved in a successful application to the Global Challenges Research Fund for a research project looking at the way economies transition from war to peace. The project is led by SOAS University of London, a respected UK university. Christian Aid became involved in the project because it had previously worked with SOAS to commission research. In this case study, Eric reflects on the experience of being involved in the research application process. He talks about the time and work involved in the application, the challenges of tight deadlines, and the structural barriers that limited Christian Aid’s role. He discusses on Christian Aid’s experience in lobbying for policy change, and how this kind of work can be overlooked by academic actors with less experience of ensuring that research leads to policy change.

Fair and equitable research partnerships case study: Kate Newman

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This case study is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. The case study explores insights from Kate Newman of Christian Aid, who reflects on her experience of participating in an moderator panel for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), convened to make funding recommendations to the AHRC based on a ‘Network Plus’ call funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. It was Kate’s first time on an academic moderator panel, and she found the experience very challenging. She was not clear about her specific role on the panel (was she there to represent a civil society voice, or as an individual participating in a panel?), there were no clear criteria against which the proposals should be evaluated, and there were vastly different expectations of academic research and development impact across the panel. Kate asks questions and makes recommendations for future panels to enable better participation of civil society representatives on similar panels.

Fair and equitable research partnerships case study: RRC

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This case study is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. It explores insights from the Rethinking Research Collaborative (RRC), an informal network of academics, civil society practitioners, international NGOs and research support providers from the UK and many other countries who are committed to improving research in response to global challenges. It presents reflections on the strengths and challenges of the RRC's efforts to model a fair and equitable research partnership in the research that forms the foundation of this set of resources. It is structured around the eight principles for fair and equitable partnership identified by the RRC, and is therefore a retrospective reflection on applying these principles in practice.

Fair and equitable research partnerships case study: Tom Kariuki

Funding for research in international development often includes a focus on fair and equitable partnerships. Academics from the global North are increasingly encouraged by funders to include academic partners based in the global South and civil society practitioners in their research projects. But achieving this is complicated: partnership and research are both political. This case study is one of a set of resources that has been designed to help academics, NGOs, CSOs, research brokers and funders put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice. The case study explores insights from Tom Kariuki of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). Tom describes the vision of the AAS and the evolution of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), an agenda-setting and funding platform. He reflects on the impact of shifting the centre of gravity for African science to Africa, issues of trust which limit funders’ interest in devolving fund management to African organisations, and the importance of investing in institutional capacity to enable sustainable research leadership in Africa.

Working effectively with faith leaders - harmful traditional practices

In 2016, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development released a call for proposals for a study entitled “Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices.” A Consortium of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, an international alliance examining the contribution of faith groups to community health and wellbeing, undertook this study to investigate best practices around engaging with faith leaders on harmful traditional practices (HTPs). This study is currently on-going and will continue until 2018.

The forgotten smile: stories of courage and resilience in Bangladesh

Stories, photos and case studies from those we work with in Bangladesh, bringing Christian Aid's work to life and showing the human face behind the figures.

The ENCISS story: 2010-2014

ENCISS aims to improve accountability and strengthen citizens’ voice, participation in decision-making and access to information. Between October 2010 and September 2013 we awarded 243 grants, worth £3.8m, to a host of organisations. These micro, strategic and project grants went to groups of all shapes and sizes, including civil society organisations  (CSOs) and local councils, to fund initiatives across the ENCISS thematic areas: gender, youth, justice, decentralisation and the 2012 elections. Here we capture stories from phase 3 of the ENCISS programme from across these core theme areas.

Renewable Energy to Reduce Poverty. Toolkit 4: Planning decentralised renewable energy projects

This toolkit is to enable Christian Aid programme and partner staff to design and plan better decentralised renewable energy projects.