SURe workshop at The Broker day: private vs. public actors in development


Written by Arthur Rempel and Yannicke Goris

On 6 November 2019, The Broker – the Unusual Suspect’s knowledge brokering partner – hosted the Broker Day. Joined by policymakers, academics, and representatives from the private sector and civil society, The Broker sought to shed new light on the Dutch role in and impact on international development. During this day, Sarah Cummings, in collaboration with Arthur Rempel of The Broker, led a workshop on perceptions of public and private actors in development. The primary purpose of this workshop was to gather insight on the perceived relationship between the public and private sectors and the role that they play in promoting inclusive and sustainable development agendas and initiatives.

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Looking forward to the Broker Day!

The Unusual Suspect team are looking forward to this year’s Broker Day which will take place on 6 November 2019 (13:00–18:00) in the Hague at the Bazaar of Ideas, organized by The Broker: Connecting world’s of knowledge. The Broker is now devoting its Broker Day to discussing the question: How can the Netherlands rise up from its ‘Calimero complex’ to become a major player in sustainable and inclusive development worldwide? Although programme is not yet complete, the Unusual Suspect team will be there with an interactive session, presenting a proposed action agenda for working with the private sector.

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Sarah Cummings of the Unusual Suspect team will making the presentation Knowledge brokering with the private sector in multi-stakeholder partnership: lessons and ways forward at the forthcoming Knowledge for Development Partnership Conference on 25-26 September to be held at the UN in Nairobi.

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Interview with an unusual suspect

On 15 May 2019, an interview Unpacking the private sector with Sarah Cummings, written by Yannicke Goris and Arthur Rempel on The Broker as part of its Inclusive Economy Africa Programme.

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Most read article

The article published by the Unusual Suspect team in the ISI-ranked journal Information Development in October 2018 has been identified as the journal’s most read article, having been read 556 times since in the last 6 months. It can be found on the journal’s website here. It has not yet been cited but it’s quite recent so fingers crossed.

The article focuses on The future of knowledge brokering: perspectives from a generational framework of knowledge management for international development and has been written with Helen Gillman of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). We have publicized the article on LinkedIn and twitter, but this level of readership also shows the value of being able to publish open access.

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The evidence base for knowledge brokering

In October 2018, Sarah Cummings and Edith van Ewijk published an article on Expanding the evidence base on knowledge brokering in international development which presents the preliminary results of the three projects of the Science for Using Research (SURe) programme, including the Unusual Suspect project.

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Breaking down silos in international development

On 15 October 2018, a new blog Breaking down silos is the first step towards fruitful policy making was published on the Broker Online by Suzanne Kiwanuka of the Unusual suspects team. In the blog, Suzanne Kiwanuka emphasizes the need to breakdown the silos between the social, economic and environmental components of policy making, particularly as this relates to private sector in Africa and Uganda.

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The private sector in international development policy

On 27 June 2018, I made a presentation in the session on What role for the private sector in challenging global inequality? at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Development Studies Association, held at the University of Manchester, UK. The session was organised by the Business & Development Study Group. It was based on the premise that reducing inequality is a Sustainable Development Goal that the private sector should help realise (along with the other SDGs). What does the evidence around public-private partnerships thus far suggest about the role of private sector involvement in addressing inequality within and between nations?

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Blog: Research results from the first six months


Participants discuss our research project at the SURe Exchange meeting on 3 April at NWO, The Hague

The Unusual Suspect team took part in a one-day meeting on 3 April 2018 at the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), The Hague, where we presented our results. Given that the project started on 1 September 2017, we were effectively presenting results on the first six months of work.

The meeting in the morning involved staff of NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, project teams of the Science for Using Research (SURe) programme, members of the NWO-WOTRO International Advisory Committee for SURe, and the advisor supporting the SURe project with their literature reviews. In the afternoon, there were additional participants including people involved in the Dutch knowledge platforms for global development, additional research programme coordinators from NWO-WOTRO, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a restricted number of interested experts.

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Blog: The missing ingredient? Adding knowledge to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals

Sarah Cummings – Knowledge is a catalyst and an indispensable ingredient in all human progress and development. Despite this, as many commentators are discovering, knowledge is missing from Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. But recent developments seem to indicate that the UN, civil society and others are finding ways of putting knowledge back into the mix.

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