Consortium for Research on Equitable Health Systems and Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network
North-South multi-country research partnerships between academic institutions are a recognized mechanism for research. Besides adding value to research outputs, they provide opportunities for capacity development. While partnerships have been subjected to considerable scrutiny, reflection from the health systems field is lacking. In late 2009 a number of researchers from two research partnerships, CREHS and GHIN came together to compare lessons learned from collaborating in research partnerships. Participants at the meeting drew on many years of experience of different sorts of partnerships as well as on the particular experience from these two programmes. A number of common positive and negative characteristics of multi-country research partnerships were identified at the meeting, many of which are reflected in the literature on research partnerships. Figure 1 captures the most important of these. Participants also identified four key insights into research partnerships which funders, research institutions and researchers could take into account when planning and collaborating in multi-country partnerships.