Maximizing the potential for your academic-practitioner collaboration
“Why do I need to partner with a researcher?” This was a question that was asked in a LASER PULSE’s Research for Development event. Since then we conducted empirical research to understand different factors and barriers that influence the likelihood of participation in academic-practitioner collaborations. Our statistical research findings are agnostic of sector and geographic regions and applicable to anyone interested in academic-practitioner collaborations. We invite academic researchers, practitioners and donors to this interactive session, to engage in an evidence-based discussion on how to challenge the status quo and shift traditional mindsets for collaborative research and leave with an actionable framework for maximizing the potential of such collaborations.
SDG 17 highlights the need for partnerships to address complex development challenges. Research partnerships between academics and development practitioners are emerging especially as more donor organizations like USAID and DFID are promoting evidence based programming, results based frameworks and approaches to bridge knowledge-practice gaps. Sustainability of development goals in the context of researcher-practitioner partnerships relies on the ability of practitioners to utilize research evidence into their programming. Thus, LASER PULSE sought to produce research to investigate the correlations between underlying motivations, past experiences, and barriers faced to the likelihood that academics and practitioners would participate in such collaborations in the future. Our findings provide researchers, practitioners, and donors an evidence-based framework for designing more effective collaborations.
Dr. Priyanka Brunese is a Research Scientist and Scientific Research Manager at the LASER PULSE (Long-term Assistance and SErvices for Research, Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine) Higher Education Institution Network at Purdue University. She has served on several research teams funded by USAID and is currently the lead researcher for one of their Private Sector Engagement Hub’s research projects. Prior to this role, she was the Measurement & Evaluation Lead at Purdue Center for Regional Development and Community Development Extension. She was an Emerging Leader in Science & Society (ELISS) Fellow from AAAS which focused on bringing local community voices on epidemic preparedness to national policymakers. She also has several years of experience working in the private sector where she worked on partnership change management and organizational effectiveness. She has a PhD in Organizational Studies from Purdue University’s Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation, an MS in Management of Information Systems from Purdue University’s Department of Computer & Information Technology.
Dr. Yuehwern Yih is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University and currently serves as the Academic Director of LASER PULSE. Dr. Yih has vast experience, including leadership, working with interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral partners in co-creation and co-designing practical technology solutions guided with a system lens considering human factors, workflow, environments, capacity, and resources. Dr. Yih’s core research focuses on understanding system dynamics and improving the outcomes of complex systems under volatile environments. She has published over 150 scientific articles, conference proceedings, books, and book chapters on the system engineering approach in advanced manufacturing systems, supply chains, humanitarian assistance, and health care. Dr. Yih is an IISE Fellow and ELATE Fellow.