The Nairobi Process

The Nairobi Process is an ongoing series of discussions, facilitated by the ACU and the British Academy, around Africa-UK research collaboration and the provision of researcher support in African higher education.

It has given rise to three reports which we hope will stimulate serious debate among the diverse groups of people and organisations, within and outside Africa, with the capacity to effect change.

Nairobi Report (2009)

Drawing on an earlier background study, the Nairobi Report provides an analysis of barriers to Africa-UK research collaboration in the social sciences and humanities and outlines a series of frameworks which offer a way forward, building on examples of successful practice.

Foundations for the future (2011)

A central theme of the Nairobi Report was the critical importance of the early career, highlighting an urgent need to invest in talented individuals to ensure that Africa has a strong foundation of researchers, producing high quality research. But it is vital that these investments in people are designed to strengthen the wider research base in universities and their faculties and departments.

Foundations for the future: supporting the early careers of African researchers, the second report published as part of the Nairobi Process, begins to explore how early career scholars might be better supported, how the UK research community might most usefully offer its support, and recent developments in South Africa. It identifies the key areas in which further support needs to be provided, and suggests ways in which new collaborative mechanisms might be designed in order to do this.

The next generation (2016)

Building on the lessons learned from the Foundations for the future report, The next generation: ideas and experience in African researcher support focuses in more detail on developments in provision for early career researchers. As the research leaders of the future, it is early career researchers who will direct and shape the development of African higher education and research.

This third report charts examples of good practice in strengthening capacity in African early career researcher support, both through institution-led and donor-led initiatives. It outlines structures that can effectively integrate researcher development within institutional research support systems, and presents a framework through which institutions may reflect on their own research provision and what is appropriate in their particular context.