Higher Education Policy

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 203–223 | Cite as

“It Would be Great to See an Example…” Collaboration Between International NGOs and National Knowledge Institutes in Six African Countries

  • Gerard PrinsenEmail author
  • Ilse Hartog
  • Martijn Vink
Original Article


Collaboration between international development NGOs and Africa’s national knowledge institutes, particularly universities, is receiving increasing support from global policy-makers and donor agencies. In spite of this, little is reported about the practice of such collaboration. This paper helps fill this lack of knowledge. It shares findings from a research project by a consortium of four international NGOs exploring the potential for collaboration with knowledge institutes in Burundi, DR Congo, Liberia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The findings are based on analysis of interviews with NGO managers in these countries and on subsequent interviews by these NGO managers of staff in national knowledge institutes. The views of the NGO managers regarding collaboration lean towards scepticism, in keeping with the limited literature on the matter. However, after interviewing staff in the knowledge institutes, the NGO managers did find potential for collaboration based on personal relations and meeting both parties’ more immediate interests.


international NGOs African universities knowledge networks 



Gerard Prinsen is also an external adviser to the Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation (DCR).


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of People, Environment, and PlanningMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation (DCR)AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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