Leveraging research partnerships to achieve the 2030 Agenda Experiences from North-South cooperation

Jasmina Saric, Dominic Blaettler, Bassirou Bonfoh, Silvia Hostettler, Elizabeth Jimenez, Boniface Kiteme, Inza Koné, Jon-Andri Lys, Honorati Masanja, Eveline Steinger, Bishnu Raj Upreti, Jürg Utzinger, Mirko S. Winkler, Thomas Breu

Transnational research partnerships are considered fundamental for supporting research and creating shared knowledge for sustainable development. They enable the acquisition and global sharing of high-quality information and create shared knowledge and capacity. This paper aimed to identify the enabling factors of such partnerships. In a survey carried out by the authors of this article, partnerships were perceived most beneficial when they provided access to new key features such as funding, technology and training. Compliance with research partnership principles, combined with funds and shared interests, was seen to further enhance the longevity of partnerships. Upon consulting the recent peer-reviewed literature, it became clear that research was lacking with regard to optimising the framework and performance of research partnerships, despite galloping technological progress in other areas of sustainable development. We believe that technological opportunities could be better harnessed to enable the concept of partnership to evolve and move towards transformative research for the advancement of sustainable development.