Our approach to partnerships
The quality, relevance and impact of our research would not be possible without extensive collaboration with our partners and networks around the world. Working with others provides mutual benefits, enabling IDS and its partners to:
- engage diverse stakeholders in the production of high quality co-constructed research;
- mobilise knowledge in relevant policy and decision-making spaces; and
- facilitate inter-disciplinary and cross-country knowledge exchange, dialogue and mutual, multi-directional learning.
Although IDS has a long history of research and knowledge collaborations with many partners, IDS operates in a dynamic environment which means the number and type of actors and institutions with whom we work is constantly changing. As a result IDS recognises the need to continuously reflect on and refresh our approach to partnership working whilst being consistent in our applying our values in how we work with others.
Who we work with
We work with governments, academia, civil society organisations, citizens, donors, businesses and many others who share common goals and values. Together we work to generate and share the research and knowledge needed to tackle some of the worlds most pressing global challenges.
Our partnership values in practice
Our values are core to who we are, what we stand for and how we behave. They apply equally to how members (staff, students, alumni and associates) work together within the Institute and how IDS works with partners and sub-contractors.
We strive to be respectful, inclusive, resourceful and excellent.
IDS is respectful of all those who work within and with the Institute and, by acting with integrity towards others, fosters relationships built on trust. We:
- seek to understand and be sensitive to the diverse organisational, cultural and political contexts of the individuals and institutions with whom we work, and, where possible, take these into account in our working practices;
- value the networks and partnerships of others and engage with these as invited or guided;
- acknowledge the expertise and skills of those who work with us and trust that these skills are used professionally and appropriately, according to agreed expectations; and
- uphold the rights of individuals who work with us to pursue activities in relation to their own beliefs and values in their private lives provided these are legal, do not imply the support of the Institute or its partners and do not damage the reputation of the Institute or any of its partners.
IDS promotes and enables a working culture that is inclusive of diverse voices and alternative perspectives. We:
- promote equality of voice and decision-making in research programmes;
- invest in building common frameworks and shared understandings of theories, methods and practice that are relevant and appropriate to specific research, teaching and delivery contexts and transcend disciplinary, cultural and linguistic boundaries;
- promote the co-construction of knowledge, actively seeking out knowledge from multiple sources and working with those who are at the heart of the issues which IDS addresses; and
- recognise and promote the expertise of our partners through co-authorship and clear acknowledgement of all contributions.
IDS is resourceful in its institutional practices and in working with those whose skills and knowledge complement, enhance and contribute to IDS’ ability to deliver its mission. We:
- strive to be lean and efficient, to ensure that resources are used prudently and effectively towards the Institute’s strategic purposes;
- ensure that projects and sub-contracts reflect the true cost of the services we provide to IDS and those we work with, as well as offer value for money and avoid wastage;
- are fully transparent and accountable in our use of funds, and maintain policies and procedures to avoid fraud or corruption and to manage any conflicts of interest; and
- invest in building enduring relationships with partners and institutions with a known history of high quality delivery and inclusive working practices, and proactively seek out others to help push IDS boundaries through engaging in teaching, reflective practice and working in new and progressive ways.
IDS strives to be excellent across all of its working practices, how it listens and learns, and in promoting the wellbeing of those who work within and with IDS. We:
- are accountable to all those who work within IDS and with IDS, and are willing to take responsibility for our actions;
- are committed to producing work of the highest quality and rigour, and have guidance and processes in place ensure this happens;
- use clear language in our formal communications and are transparent on our commitments to others;
- listen to those that we work with to help improve internal practice;
- have established systems and policies to support safe working;
- use research data, photographic and audio visual materials in a way that conforms to high ethical standards in relation to respect, cultural sensitivities, informed consent and the protection of children and vulnerable adults;
- collect and use personal information in line with current data protection guidelines; and
- are committed to making research knowledge freely available, accessible, re-usable and relevant to those who can use it to drive transformative social, political and economic development.