Interrogating knowledge exchange for more collaborative research: an invitation to join the conversation.

Join the conversation!

A new design and learning initiative, commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, invites you to join a critical dialogue about participation and power in research, aimed at fostering more effective routes for more meaningful and equitable research collaborations.

Pivot Collective and partners Eh!woza, Restless Development, Vocal, Praxis, and Fiocruz are conducting a collaborative study, commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. The study aims to better understand knowledge exchange in health research and to design more effective and meaningful routes for communities to collaborate in research. Through this work, we aim to explore how we can build mutuality and capability in the relationship between researchers and communities, working to bring deeper understandings of the diversity of local contexts and values into the design and implementation of global frameworks and practices.

We also aim to identify the potential role for Wellcome and other funders in supporting and/or resourcing this infrastructure – currently called 'Centres for Exchange' – building on existing assets and structures within communities. The ultimate goal of this project is to support communities to play a meaningful, inclusive and reciprocal role in the research ecosystem and ensure that research is more responsive to local socio-political contexts and needs. This would, in turn, deliver mutual benefit and new, more impactful knowledge both to communities and to research.

To achieve this aim, we're orienting our project around 3 axes: (1) exploring stakeholders and relationships in place-based knowledge exchange in different regions and contexts, (2) understanding how power operates in health research, and (3) designing the structures and practices necessary to transform the research ecosystem to become more equitable, inclusive, and responsive.

Across this project, we're committed to ensuring that sensitivity to power and context guide both our collaborative process and the final architecture and knowledge products we co-develop. While designing new "global" models of practice, we intend to remain grounded in the deep insights that emerge from 'hyperlocal' insights and innovations. To this end, the project will include the exploration of models of practices from around the world as well as place-based design workshops in South Africa, India, and Brazil.

To achieve these ambitions, we have brought together a dynamic and diverse team of expert collaborators representing key partners and networks in the space of community engagement and participatory research. Our collaborative team operates from the global South and is representative of diverse lived and professional experiences.

We are a passionate, varied, and vibrant community that shares a common goal of building diversity and cultivating inclusivity in order to promote engagement and thus work to ensure accountability and transparency.

Our intent is to gather as many perspectives on these issues as possible, taking a collaborative and iterative approach to the learning journey and fostering an open, ongoing dialogue. We will publicly share our learning throughout the process and proactively create platforms and opportunities for public involvement. We hope you’re also excited to join our critical conversation and share your insights and learning.

As a first step, we've created a public survey to elicit your opinions and insights about the state of practice in community engagement and participation in research. Please share your thoughts (it should take 15-30 minutes to complete) and forward broadly! Please complete the survey by Wednesday 01 November 2023 to have your voice heard in this critical conversation.

All feedback is welcome – please feel free to send through thoughts/ideas/criticisms or to sign up for updates about this study please contact

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