Moving from Practice to Theory – CIDT’s presents vision for academic research

At the University of Wolverhampton’s Annual Research Conference 2017, CIDT’s Dr Canford Chiroro and Ella Haruna presented an exciting initiative to leverage CIDT’s practical experience of international development projects and consultancy towards an academic research agenda.

As a self-funding Centre, historically CIDT has focussed on the delivery of externally-funded contracts and business development and has not been ‘research active’ in the traditional academic sense. Reversing the typical approach of ‘theory to practice’, recent University investment into CIDT is intended to significantly increase documentation of models, frameworks and approaches. A new CIDT Reader will strengthen CIDT staff capacity to convert large data sets gathered through client-focused work into academic output. The desired outcomes of this investment will increase UoW/CIDT global impact, strengthen the University Research outcomes and consolidate CIDT’s vision as a Centre of Excellence for capacity strengthening for the international development sector.

In the session chaired by Professor Dew Harrison of the Faculty of Arts, Dr Chiroro outlined how CIDT will employ a two-pronged approach: converting existing data/reports into academic products; and integrating a research framework into selected new projects going forward. Taking CIDT’s new EU-funded Citizen’s Voice for Change as one example, he identified a number of research themes:

Canford Chiroro“We are looking at how partnerships work, can be sustained, and different partnership arrangements. We are exploring the political economy of forest monitoring and governance, and the area of green growth. We seek to document the impact of capacity development, as well as the process through which such impact is produced. And we are also interested in contributing towards the growing literature on how organisations learn (or fail to learn) and the implications of this on their resilience.”

The presentation concluded by touching on some of the potential risks or challenges ahead.

The programme for the two-day Annual Research Conference references CIDT’s abstract:

View the PowerPoint presentation.
View the PowerPoint presentation.

Over the next four years under new EU-funded grants, CIDT will develop collaborative partnerships with the University of Dschang, Cameroon and the Faculty of Forestry, National University of Lao. CIDT past projects piloted University curriculum development in natural resource governance in these two institutions in two continents, and there is huge potential to build on this work. CIDT has brokered new institutional linkages in Rwanda and Ethiopia – two countries, where strong political will exists to advance knowledge and capacity required to achieve low carbon climate resilient economies. It is expected that CIDT will contribute significantly to developing these links. The research investment will allow CIDT to work with academic staff in these four partner institutions on the authorship of joint peer reviewed academic articles. Case studies and findings from the engagement will feed CIDT’s re-emerging academic teaching programme – especially the newly approved MBA (International Development).

You can view the PowerPoint presentation delivered by Canford and Ella.

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