INASP Strategy

Research and knowledge at the heart of development

Our Vision
Research and knowledge at the heart of development

Our Mission
To support individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge, which can transform lives.

INASP's new strategy has been produced as a guide to focus our activities for the next five years and to stimulate others to join us in achieving our vision.

It builds on the firm foundations laid since INASP was established in 1992, and reflects the rapidly changing global environment in which INASP works.

This document summarizes key points from the new strategy. The full version can be found at

At INASP, we believe that research and knowledge have a crucial role to play in addressing global challenges and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. To realize this potential, we work in partnership to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge, in support of national development.

Our approach is based on an understanding that:

● Locally generated knowledge and solutions are key to solving local development challenges.

● Research quality is critical to ensuring that evidence is appropriate, relevant, and credible.

● Evidence and knowledge are central to designing and delivering socially just and effective policies.

● Everyone has an equal right to access the world’s collective knowledge, irrespective of geography, wealth, race, ethnicity or gender.

● Researchers from all types of institutions (academia, civil society and government) have an equal right to contribute their knowledge and evidence and to participate in the global problem-solving process in aid of development.

● Working in an integrated and systemic way is more effective in realising longer-term development.

● Our work must be grounded in a good understanding of the social and political contexts and the power dynamics within which we and our partners work.

Strategic Priorities
Research and knowledge at the heart of development

In line with our vision and mission, INASP is committed to strengthening the production, sharing and use of research and knowledge in developing and transitional countries to ensure that research and knowledge can be used to inform and influence national and international development.

Currently we work in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. During this strategic period we will work in a more focused and integrated way in fewer countries, thereby ensuring that we add significant value to the development of a particular country’s research and knowledge system. We are currently exploring how best to work in countries with the greatest need, including in fragile and post-conflict states.

Sharing research and knowledge

Sharing research and knowledge

We will continue to work in collaboration with existing and new local partners including higher education institutions, research institutes, government bodies and parliaments. We will also increase our engagement with civil society, media and public bodies who both produce and use research and knowledge.

Drawing on our core pillars of activities - capacity development, convening, influencing and working in partnership - and recognizing that technical skills alone are not sufficient, we will address change at the:

● Individual level (change in attitudes, skills, knowledge and behaviour)

● Institutional level (process and systems)

● Inter-personal level (the nature and strength of relationships, shared visions and understandings)

● Environmental level (the broader research and policy environment).

We will explore INASP’s professional-services offer, including new advisory-support services and a separate evaluation stream of work. We will seek to diversify our funding; improve our profile; and actively plan to work with new institutions and partners in both the North and South.

Research and knowledge at the heart of development

We will focus our efforts over the next five years on three areas of work:

What we’ll do:
● Strengthen the skills and knowledge of academic researchers to produce research to respond to
national needs.

● Support researchers and professionals outside of academia, in research institutes, NGOs and civil society.

● Strengthen access to research information by working with international publishers.

● Support the development of robust IT systems in research and academic institutions.

● Provide specialist and tailor-made support for
women researchers.

● Support universities and research institutions to adapt their processes, policies and behaviours to enhance the production of research and knowledge.

What we’ll do:
● Strengthen the skills and knowledge of developing-country researchers to share and communicate their research.

● Support research communication to non-academic audiences, such as policymakers and practitioners.

● Strengthen the visibility and quality of Southern published research.

● Connect the users and producers of research.

● Support universities and research institutions to adapt their processes, policies and behaviours to enhance the sharing and communication of research

What we’ll do:
● Strengthen the critical thinking skills of students,
recognizing the important role of young people, and
enabling them to contribute meaningfully to national

● Train decision makers and support staff of
government departments, parliaments and other
public bodies to access, appraise and use research
and evidence systematically.

● Support government departments, parliaments
and other public bodies to adapt their institutional
processes, policies and behaviours regarding the use
of research and evidence.

● Promote dialogue between national decision makers
and their citizens to ensure effective production,
dissemination and use of evidence.

Our Values
The values that govern the way we work are:

Openness and Transparency
Valuing our Staff

Capacity Development
We develop local capacity through online learning and blended approaches to training, and by promoting South-to-South knowledge sharing through mentoring and institutional pairing. We have a strong focus on learning and disseminating what works. Sustainability is core to all that we do, and we are working to ensure greater inclusiveness, so that both men and women have equal opportunities to benefit.

We promote collaboration and co-creation by bringing together different partners involved in the production and use of knowledge for national development.
We are continually improving our capabilities and methodologies, in order to develop more appropriate and responsive approaches that reflect the context in which our partners work.

Capacity development needs to be complemented by influencing those who have the power to make change happen, both locally and internationally. Together with our partners, we have the potential and credibility to lead debates in research development and to put forward thinking on a range of issues ranging from the role of women in the research and knowledge system to concerns about the cultural and political implications of the lack of investment in local research.

We believe in investing in long-term relationships to build trust and promote ownership amongst local partners through an inclusive, participatory approach.

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