Development Partnerships in Higher Education

Status: Completed project

Duration: 2005-2013

Project lead: British Council, United Kingdom

Project partners: The Association of Commonwealth Universites, United Kingdom

Funder: Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom

Project award: GBP 15,000,000

Summary: Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) was a programme supporting inter-university partnerships between universities that address the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Across Africa and Asia, DelPHE was able to support 200 inter-university partnerships between 2005 and 2010, with all funded projects completed by mid-2013. This marked the completion of the DelPHE programme.

The principal aim of DelPHE has been to help higher education institutions (HEIs) to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development in their home countries and regions. HEIs in 22 target countries were eligible to lead applications for DelPHE, with their partnership teams eligible for between GBP 15,000 and GBP 50,000 per year over three years as support for their collaborative projects.

The ACU's role in the DelPHE scheme has been chiefly to broker and mentor those South-South DelPHE partners between African and Asian universities, and to provide key support, advice and feedback to project developers over the course of drafting their proposals. Our work in monitoring and evaluation has focussed on detailed surveys, interviews and consultancies with a range of DelPHE project leaders, and analysis of wider trends in partnership building, community engagement and development impact.

Outcomes: It is expected that successful projects will live on beyond the period of DelPHE funding and will continue to address MDGs in the home country and region. Partnerships should aim to deliver specific results in the following areas:

  • Joint research studies/publications which may then be fed into wider policy reform
  • Revisions to, or development of, new courses which are relevant to country needs
  • Professional development and staff training
  • Increased practical support for gender parity
  • Improved networking between partner HEIs
  • Improved management and administration within institutions in the focus countries.