At the recently held Evidence to Action conference in Uganda, Feed the Future ALL-IN principal investigators engaged in a plenary panel discussion on “Flipping the traditional model of research collaborations between Global North and Global South researchers and research institutions.” The participants were Dr. Solomon Walelign, Dr. Peter Njiforti, Dr. Opeyemi Ayinde and Dr. Florence Muhanguzi. The panel session moderator was Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw of the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED).
During the panel discussion, Dr. Ameyaw, described the Feed the Future ALL-IN efforts to build collaboration between Global North and Global South researchers across six countries and eight institutions. He explained how Feed the Future ALL-IN encourages African researchers to take up the “driver’s seat” in identifying research areas, writing proposals and designing methodology with researchers from the Global North as colleagues and collaborators. In doing so, the research network supports locally led research by African researchers.
The panel participants, who are all principal investigators funded through Feed the Future ALL-IN, shared some of the challenges they faced in the past as they attempted to respond to requests for proposals, meeting also with rejection. They also discussed the support they have received from Feed the Future ALL-IN, including support in writing winning proposals, capacity building trainings and additional grant opportunities.
The researcher’s recognized that such support has enhanced their capacity not only as individuals but also for their teams. Feed the Future ALL-IN grant funding includes support for seminars, workshops and opportunities for team members to take on supervisory roles, all of which enhances their research capacity.
“To generate evidence expected to transform policy, researchers should collectively work together”, said Ameyaw in closing the session.