The engagement of academia in the context of multi-stakeholder partnerships has many facets and can contribute significantly to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In collaboration with other actors from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector common goals can effectively be implemented.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) are partnerships in which actors from at least three sectors of society work together in a long-term and organized way on equal footing to contribute to a common good. Actors from the scientific community are, for example, universities, independent research institutes or think tanks.
Within an MSP, the participating actors can benefit from the collaboration in different ways. Scientific actors primarily contribute to the work of MSPs by providing knowledge. At the same time, they benefit from testing and developing knowledge based on a realistic case.
Finally, research on MSPs, their functioning and their effects are relevant topics for different scientific disciplines. For this, the approach of a collaborative research project (“action research”) can be useful.
Example: Knowledge building for MSPs: “Action Research” by Partnerships2030 and the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) with several MSPs
With the goal of developing applicable knowledge for impact monitoring, improvement, and communication, Partnerships2030 and the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) conducted a collaborative research project with nine MSPs. The project was conducted from 2020 to 2022. Participating MSPs were guided through a two-phase learning process. While the first phase focused on developing a better understanding of MSP’s impact in general, the second phase focused on concretely capturing and measuring impact at the partnership level. At the same time, participating MSPs received active support in improving their monitoring and recording of their impacts. The results of the action research are summarized on this site.