Transforming Research Partnerships

Current initiatives

The Perivoli Charter

Together with others, PARC is developing an Africa-centred Charter and framework for advancing a transformed mode of UK-Africa research partnerships. The Perivoli Charter is to be launched in May 2023. Our partners include:

  • African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA)
  • University of South Africa (Chief Albert Luthuli Research Chair) (UNISA)
  • University of Cape Town (UCT)
  • UK Collaborative for Development Research (UKCDR)
  • Universities UK international (UUKi)
  • Russell Group (RG)
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Going beyond existing equitable partnership frames, the Charter will capture institutional commitment to and shared principles, goals and approaches for change in institutional and wider HE sector policies and standards, in order to embed a mode of partnership working that redresses the multiple layers of power imbalances in global North-Africa relations.

These layers include the:

  • predominance of Western epistemologies, theories and models as well as Western languages in the production of knowledge
  • development frame, which:
    • delimits areas considered ‘relevant’ for inquiry in/for Africa and ‘worthy’ of funding
    • posits the global North as ‘developed’ and Africa as ‘developing’, implying a uni-directional ‘gaze’ that forecloses bi-directional investigations of comparable issues or even a reversed African gaze on Northern challenges
    • assumes that Western models and conceptions of development are universally valid and valuable
  • privileging of global North over local audiences in the communication of research and its findings
  • disparities in institutional resourcing and infrastructures
  • division of labour and access to rewards in collaborations, with Global North institutions often the senior partner

Global Africa Group

New standards and models for Africa research collaboration

In conjunction with the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Global Africa Group (GAG), PARC is engaging in workshops, discussion forums and desk- based research to develop and pilot new standards, epistemological frameworks and practice models for equitable research collaboration and knowledge production between African and non-African WUN members.

Central to GAG’s work is the development of guiding principles for forging more equitable and Africa-centred research collaborations within the Network. We expect the principles to draw on the conceptual work that will underpin the Charter. Vice versa, we plan to engage the WUN in discussions to inform the development of the Charter and to encourage its eventual adoption.

Planned outputs

  • Workshop to be held at Makerere University, Uganda, in Febuary 2023
  • Collection of essays on the theme of equitable partnerships, written by members of the Group