GDNet Program Closure

Dear GDNet Members,

I am writing with important information about the closure of the GDNet program this week, (GDN’s knowledge service), and details of online resources which you may find useful.

Funding for the GDNet Program ends shortly and the GDNet website and online services are no longer accessible. GDN will be contacting GDNet members in due course to re-register for a new database of researcher profiles. We hope the following links will be of value to you in your research:

GDNet publications: GDNet’s toolkits, research communications handouts, learning publications and project documents (e.g. How To Guides on Policy Influence) are available from DFID’s Research For Development portal.

GDNet’s reflections on the achievements, outcomes and learning of the GDNet programme, 2010 to 2014, are captured in the GDNet Legacy Document.
GDNet’s June 2014 series of short ‘Lessons Learned’ publications comprise:

Free e-journals: INASP and the British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) provide access to several collections of free online journals including collections from Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

How to communicate research: INASP’s AuthorAid portal is a global network that offers support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.

Accessing development research:

Working papers and policy briefs from GDN-funded research are available from the GDN site.

The BLDS Digital Library is a free repository of digitised research papers from African and Asian research institutes.

Eldis is an online information service providing free access to relevant, up-to-date and diverse research on international development issues.

Finally, on behalf of my team, I would like to thank you for your membership of GDNet and to wish you every success in your future work. Many of you took part in our latest Members survey and we are disseminating the results widely. The analysis of the survey is included in our latest Monitoring & Evaluation report (see p.54 and p.84).

Best wishes

Sherine Ghoneim, GDNet Programme Director on behalf of the GDNet Team

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ENID: A Call for developing Upper Egypt

The Egypt Network for Integrated Development (ENID) is a five-year initiative to develop viable and sustainable development and employment opportunities in South Upper Egypt, where levels of poverty and unemployment are high. ENID is holding its first annual conference today December 14th 2013 at the Marriott hotel in Cairo, Egypt. The opening session was a very fruitful one with lots of guest speakers; Prof. Heba Handoussa (Managing Director of ENID), Ms. Anita Nirody (Resident Representative of UNDP), H.E. General Adel Labib (Minister of Local Development), H.E. Dr. Ashraf El Araby (Minister of Planning), H.E. Dr. Ziad Bahaa El-Din (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation), Ali Gomaa (Egypt’s former Mufti and Head of Board of Trustees in Misr El Kheir) and Abdel Hamid El Haggan (Qena Governor).

ENID's Opening Session - Pannelists

ENID’s Opening Session – Panelists

ENID work is intended to be of use for both policy formulation and program development in each of its program areas. The first point of focus is the Governorate of Qena in South Upper Egypt. One of the things ُENID should be accredited for is that a lot of the participants are from Upper Egypt; and outside the conference hall, they are presenting and selling some of the handmade products made by Upper Egypt residents.

Ali Gomaa was the first speaker, he highlighted that Misr El Kheir (charity organization)  allocate 80 percent of its donations to Upper Egypt since it is under-developed and always neglected, while 20 percent is allocated to the rest of the country.

Read more of this post

Building the capacity to produce policy relevant research

As development and the global economy evolve in the direction of knowledge, the ability to communicate research effectively is essential; one of the means to ensure that, is the connections between researchers and policy makers from one side and between researchers themselves from the other side. Policy makers turn primarily to international organizations to obtain credible information, even though, local organizations and southern researchers may have the capacity but are often not able to engage in cooperation with policy makers. GDNet gathers the views of members of the development community who either have first-hand experience of overcoming the barriers faced by southern researchers or that working towards promoting southern knowledge.

Professor William LyakurwaAERC former Executive Director, stresses on the urgent need of conducting the researchers’ work to policy makers since they are considered as the end users. Further, researchers should get engaged into policy making to better understand the output of the research papers to apply it effectively in the policy content.

Watch Professor Lyakurwa’s interview and learn more about the work GDNet is doing to support Southern researchers and help their research travel further to reach policymakers; through capacity building programs.

A leap for generations!?

When senior researchers and younger ones work together they complement each other; since the latter have the enthusiasm, energy and the skills, whereas the senior researchers have greater experience which they can share with the young. Young researchers do not have the eye that can catch on the most important issues that society faces.

According to Wafik Grais (Viveris Mashrek), there is a need to foster these connections between both generations to make use of the strong points of each. In addition, combining between the skills, enthusiasm and expertise will deliver the best outcomes, and he stressed that this connection can be promoted by GDNet.

What does it take for researchers to be heard: Research competitions

Promoting Southern voices is at the heart of our work at GDNet. It is no secret that southern researchers struggle to communicate their research and have their work influence polices, and that’s exactly where we step in. This is NOT another post emphasizing the challenges facing southern research! It is, however, an example of what we aspire for research in the developing world to reach.

The winners of GDN 12th Annual Conference Awards & Medals competition, two Philippine researchers; Jeremaiah Opiniano and Alvin Ang from the University of Santo Thomas, Philippines, tell us what winning the competition added to their research. Ang and Opiniano use a tool called Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART) to advise the Philippine government on how to best use the billion-dollar remittances in local development.

Why did THEY win? In other words, what’s the X factor in their research?

When asked, Ang and Opiniano believe that their research is not only interesting, but also quite useful for communities. What ‘s more important is that it can be replicated and modified to apply to other communities around the world. In support of their argument, they found that other researchers were interested in their work. Researcher to researcher INTERACTION!

So how does winning help?

Winning the competition has indeed been a great step in communicating their research. Ang says that it opens doors to other funding resources as well as links with other researchers, both locally and internationally. It also gave them a boost of confidence in approaching policy makers. The attitude of policy makers itself is notably different; it shows more understanding and support and facilitates access to communities. Communities showed helpfulness and participation, and also provided them with access to information for research.

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Shattered global wisdom

Today is UN Day for South-South Cooperation

Did you know that as of 22 December 2011, the General Assembly decided to declare 12 September- instead of December 19th– the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation?  The General Assembly decision 66/550 endorsed the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries . (United Nations website)

Time 4 Learning-K Samsonu New

We take so much for granted . .

I am very happy to seize this opportunity to raise awareness and provoke curiosity of international community about the value of ‘Connecting the South’. South-South collaboration is a very important ingredient  to international development. Southern research provides a resourceful pool of research that is considered a viable source of innovative ideas to current global challenges and uneven lumpiness in development.

In days where we see a deadly food crisis where hunger and drought spread across Africa; a daily human Massacre in Syria for the past two and half years where reactions to both parties cannot be more polarized (almost 110,000 people were killed mainly civilians including women and children and over 2,000,000 Syrian displaced- Business Insider); and instances where governments are willing to invest monies to go into war against other countries. How can this reality become a sustainable path to equal development opportunities for all?

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Are “South-South” interactions geographically restricted?

Southern researchers experience particular barriers to having their knowledge influence global debates on development. Publishing in international journal, in addition to putting together and sharing research ideas is often harder for them. Southern research institutes are less likely to have the communications capacity and budgets of their equivalents in the North so their voices can get lost online and at international events. GDNet’s own survey data also points to the dominance of northern academic practices making it harder for southern research to be seen on an equal footing.

In this video, Nader Kabbani (Silatech, Qatar) sheds light on some of the challenges facing researchers in the Middle East and the South in general. He argues that research clubs located in the South do not interact with each other, but with northern organizations instead.

Besides, the “South-South” interactions are much more elusive, in which people attending conferences in English or Arabic do not interact due to geographical restrictions, so there is a need to address different audience.

Learn more about the GDNet Connect South Campaign and watch this video

Interested to join us? Sign up to the Connect South Charter of Commitment and pledge how you will help southern research have a greater impact on LinkedIn