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Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes

General InformationTypes Of Cooperation ActivitiesTarget GroupsFinancing
Country Code: P306
Name of Programme: Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes
Organisation responsible for the programme: Irish Aid
Type of organisation: Ministry
Country: Ireland
Web Link:
Starting Date 2007
Ending date
Joint initiative involving more than one Ministry? (if applicable)

Programme Description
General and specific objectives
The Programme of Strategic Cooperation with Higher Education and Research Institutes promotes linkages and increased cooperation between Irish higher education and research institutes and those in countries supported by Irish Aid. The programme recognises the importance and potential of the higher education sector in furthering development objectives. There is a strong focus within the programme on ensuring that academic staff in African Universities acquire the necessary skills and expertise to be able to contribute effectively towards poverty reduction. The current phase of the programme is also focused on strengthening the capacity of the higher education sector in Ireland.
The specific objectives of the programme are as follows:
1.To facilitate the establishment of collaborative partnerships within and between higher education institutions and research institutes in Ireland and in countries benefiting from Irish Aid support.
2.To support the realisation of Irish Aid’s policy objectives in the following areas, which are of strategic relevance to the longer term goals and priorities of the Irish Aid programme.

Priority actions
• Increased coordination and collaboration within the higher education sector is Ireland
• Research capacity and needs assessment conducted jointly by partner institutions
• Joint identification of research priorities in consultation with policy makers and other researchers
• Joint courses at PhD level developed– 43 students have been recruited with research topics focussing on poverty related areas
• Development of modules on poverty and vulnerability analysis for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
• Engagement of HEI’s in wider development context
• Training of researchers in identifying public policy research needs

Management and coordination
The programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of Irish Aid.
Expected or achieved outputs, outcomes and impacts
The main expected outputs for the current phase of the Programme include

• Establishment of, and participation in cross-institutional networks
• Strategies to increase awareness and understanding of global development and Irish Aid role
• Undertaking of collaborative research between participating institutions
• Collaborative cross-institutional research
• Enhanced quality of treaching and learning in participating institutions: PhD research scholarships (43) were awarded with topics focusing on poverty related areas,
• Enhanced specialist knowledge and research expertise with pro-poor focus within participating HEI’s (North and South)

Expected Outcomes:
• Strengthened institutional capacity for development research and teaching in southern HEI’s and sustained and flexible collaborative partnerships by 2015
• Increased specialist knowledge, enhanced teaching and research expertise in poverty related thematic areas in HEI’s, North and South

The overall planned outcome is that development policies, technologies and programmes in the South and North will have a strong poverty focus which is informed by improved evidence.

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