Building research capacity through North-South Partnerships: some ethical reflections and a social justice agenda.
Dr Maru Mormina, Senior Researcher and Ethics Advisor, Ethox Centre, University of Oxford
Wednesday, 04 March 2020, 11am to 12.30pm
Ethox and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities are based at the Big Data Institute, University of Oxford, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7FZ. The talk will be held in seminar room 0.
Research capacity building (RCB) is an umbrella term that refers to the development in Low and Middle income countries (LMICs) of capacities for undertaking research (broadly construed). It is generally used very loosely to define a variety of activities whose ultimate aim is to empower individuals, organisations and systems to produce and use knowledge to achieve desirable social outcomes (better health, education, etc.). Within this broad remit, the focus of this paper is on RCB activities mediated via Official Development Assistance (ODA) and related kinds of donor-funded projects, programs and partnerships involving collaboration between LMICs and High-Income countries (HICs). Whilst much has been written recently on the need for these collaborations to strive to be as equitable as possible, less has been said about how their capacity building activities contribute (or not) to reduce inequalities, both within the partnership and in LMIC societies through their development impact. The paper critically examines current understandings and approaches to RCB through a social justice lens, flagging up inadequacies and offering an equity framework based on three broad principles of inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability as a starting point to bring different voices and perceptions of value into the design and evaluation of RCB activities.