Knowledge sharing and capacity-building

Collaborating with African partners throughout the CPAID research life cycle

A collaborative approach to data collection and evaluation with local organisations has widened professional networks and developed an international ecosystem of knowledge production.

Our approach

By foregrounding local perspectives in project design through to fieldwork and analysis, CPAID’s work is driven by African understandings of public authority and how governance is experienced on the ground.

Through a range of initiatives, over 20 researchers and practitioners based in Uganda, South Sudan, the DRC, Somalia and Sierra Leone are supported to advance their scholarship and produce outputs in globally esteemed publications. Writing workshops, a collaborative approach to data collection and evaluation and engagement with local organisations have widened professional networks and developed an international ecosystem of knowledge production.

Courses for early career African researchers

Through the Safety of Strangers research project, £100,000 of funding to CPAID has allowed the Centre to invest in piloting new, innovative ways for building the capacity of early career African researchers. 

In 2020-21, the Centre hosted an online course on humanitarian protection and research skills, with 40 people attending from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, DRC and Sierra Leone. Lectures were given by researchers and staff from the Centre, as well as scholars from the University of Juba (South Sudan), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Gulu (Uganda). Participants attended lectures, received readings and completed four assignments. Many of the participants from the course have now won small research grants from the University of Gulu to put their learning into practice.

CPAID workshops 

Researchers at CPAID have run workshops on the African continent to strengthen the research and communication skills of doctoral students, early career researchers, lecturers and practitioners.

In 2018 and 2019, Leben Moro (University of Juba, South Sudan), Grace Akello (University of Gulu, Uganda), and LSE’s Naomi Pendle hosted two British Academy-funded writing workshop processes in Kenya and Uganda. In total, over 20 early career researchers attended from Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. The second workshop prompted a range of papers on different questions surrounding public authority. Additional workshops in Uganda, run by researchers Ryan O’Byrne and Naomi Pendle in August 2019, supported new writing projects for 8-10 Uganda-based colleagues in Gulu and Moroto.

In eastern DRC, Patrycja Stys and Tom Kirk delivered a series of workshops developing skills in research methods and social science practice. In 2019, sessions in Bukavu and Goma addressed population enumeration, cognitive interviewing and social network research, including training in social services mapping and innovative methodologies such as financial diaries. A further short course was providing with the global NGO Mercy Corps for practitioners and graduate students in Goma.

In partnership with the University of Sierra Leone and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, CPAID’s Tim Allen, Melissa Parker, Georgina Pearson, Jonah Lipton and Liz Storer facilitated a week-long writing workshop at Njala University. Focussed on developing articles for publication, the workshop created a space for early-career scholars from across Sierra Leone to produce work rooted in personal experience or ongoing projects.

CPAID’s Africa-based researchers have also participated in the annual LSE Africa Summit, where they have contributed to public discussions on social issues affecting the continent and, in London, joined workshops applying a public authority lens to contemporary academic debates. 

Find out more an read about CPAID's research impact.