Pitfalls and Opportunities in Knowledge Sharing - Experiences from a research capacity building project in Central America
A number of attempts have been made in the North to assist in the formation of independent research capacities in the South by establishing knowledge sharing through North-South research collaboration. One such attempt was initiated by Danida through its programme for Enhancement of Research Capacity (ENRECA). Aalborg University was approached by the National University of Costa Rica to make a joint research venture within the field of sustainable development. The project got a Central American (CA) regional perspective by including participants from Nicaragua and El Salvador. The project was titled Sustainable Development Strategies for Central America (SUDESCA) and aimed at support of relevant CA research activities, including the formation of adequate organizational setups that would eventually sustain forthwith. The project focused on two theoretical themes, i.e. the National Systems of Innovation and the Social Construction of Technology approaches. In this paper the CA universities are viewed as important sub-systems of the respective national systems of innovation. Thus, the following is an analysis of the institutional sustainability of the research capacity of universities perceived as parts of the national systems of innovation. To what extent did the knowledge transfer and exchange as well as the organizational capacity building efforts succeed? What were the main pitfalls and opportunities experienced? What did the Aalborg team learn about its own research capacity set-up? Our overall conclusion is that it is a mistake to assume that research capacity may be more or less directly transferred from the North to the South. Research capacity existing in the North has to be carefully adapted to the specific conditions where it may be expected to be useful.
|Date of creation:||2007|
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