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Research for Development? The Role of Southern Research Organisations in Promoting Democratic Ownership – A Literature Review

Discussion Paper 106

March 2011

Keijzer, N., Spierings, E. and J. Heirman. 2011. Research for development? The role of Southern research organisations in promoting democratic ownership. A literature review (Discussion Paper 106). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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Background

Based on an analysis of the available literature, the paper looks at the way in which research organisations could potentially support democratic ownership in developing countries, and at how donors can effectively assist these organisations.

Purpose of ECDPM study

How are key commitments in the Accra Agenda for Action can be translated into practical action? The strengthening and deepening the dialogue on development policy in developing countries is not only a key requirement for effective aid, but is also a legitimate development outcome in its own right.

This paper supports the Work Stream on ‘Democratic ownership, Capacity Development for country leadership’, which is part of Cluster A of the OECD/DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.

Key findings of ECDPM study

  • Further investments are needed to improve our understanding of how information is produced and used in policy processes in developing countries. Understanding these dynamics will help us to understand what donor support can achieve, and may help to provide it in a more targeted manner.
  • Promoting democratic ownership also requires strengthening the capacity of all key actors in society (such as trade unions and religious institutions) to produce and use policy-relevant information.
  • South-South learning should be encouraged among developing countries that have created enabling environments for endogenous policy research on the one hand, and those that depend more on external inputs on the other.
  • Current practices insufficiently reflect the lessons that have been learned about effective support for research organisations. Further donor-donor learning is essential.
  • Donors should encourage monitoring and evaluation practices that enable organisations to perform.

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Economic Transformation and TradeDiscussion Papers (series)ResearchAid effectivenessAfrica

External authors

Niels Keijzer

Jonas Heirman