Combining research with practice

A joint project by NAI and the Swedish aid agency (Sida) deals with African institutions’ role and relevance for development. The idea is that NAI research will be put to practical use in Sida's work.

One way of doing so is by presenting research to Sida’s staff at seminars. NAI researchers Måns Fellesson and Paula Mählck have presented their study on academic mobility for both the research council and the research network at Sida.

–The study provides input to the ongoing discussion on how Sida should organize its PhD-support. However, Sida wish to see more comparisons between countries receiving PhD-support, as well as to control groups which have not received any support, says Måns Fellesson.

NAI researcher Ann-Sofie Isaksson talked about 'Ethno-regional favoritism in Africa' for the Africa unit at Sida which concerns discrimination on grounds of ethnicity and regional residence. Her research suggests that political favoritism of this kind is a widespread problem that development work at Sida has to take into consideration.

– The statistics show where the greatest risks are for aid money financing special interests. Further research can also answer how aid best promote impartiality of the state, says Ann-Sofie Isaksson.

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