Making science work for development

Research Capacity Strengthening: Learning from Experience

26 September 2013

In September 2011 the UKCDS Secretariat held a two-day workshop on research capacity strengthening at the Wellcome Trust. 

The workshop brought together the UKCDS Research Capacity Strengthening Group - made up of UKCDS members (DFID, ESRC, MRC and Wellcome Trust) and other stakeholders - with other practitioners from the UK and around the world to share experiences and best practice. The aim was to allow experts to share case studies, models and lessons learnt from research capacity strengthening projects in developing countries, with longer term aims of improved coordination, more south-led initiatives and greater sustainability. 

The event seeked to unlock some of this learning and informally, and candidly, share tacit knowledge and lessons learned from capacity strengthening programmes - both what went well and what did not - to help improve future programmes and initiatives.This included developing a better understanding of some of the tensions involved in research capacity strengthening and how these can be approached, as well as understanding our implicit models of how capacity strengthening happens and challenging our assumptions.

While much of the information shared at the event was tacit knowledge, the attached report was written to provide a synthesis of the discussions at the workshop. It includes an overview of the different levels of research capacity and concludes that the UKCDS Research Capacity Strengthening Group is a forum seeking to enhance cooperation between stakeholders in capacity strengthening activities to ensure initiativse can complement each other to drive whole-system change.

  • Capacity
  • Capacity strengthening

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