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

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Creating an interconnected, transnational knowledge society that provides equal opportunities for everyone could prove a powerful way of moving towards sustainable development. Having experienced decades of North-South cooperation, the authors believe that with more transdisciplinary research and support from funders, governments, the private sector and civil society, research partnerships can help forge a path towards a more balanced production and dissemination of knowledge. The opportunities offered by the digital era can help strengthen the framework and performance of these partnerships.

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.

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Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; global challenges; multisector; partnership; transdisciplinarity; transnational

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: ,

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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