Putting Knowledge to Work
Collaborating, Influencing, and Learning for International Development

Edited by Luc J.A. Mougeot
Paper: 978 1 85339 959 6 / $39.95
Published: May 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 85339 958 9 / $99.95
Published: April 2017  

Publisher: Practical Action
200 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
Putting Knowledge to Work, explores the shifting power dynamics in research collaboration between donors in the Global North and recipients in the Global South; the difficult, yet mutually desired, research collaborations between Global North non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Global North universities; and strategies devised by NGOs to create and use knowledge for influencing positive social change locally, as well as for improving themselves as organizations. It identifies and documents several inspiring practices to overcome specific challenges, drawing on select Canadian CSOs’ (CCSOs) own experiences, including universities, NGOs, and coalitions thereof. These vary in size, field of expertise, mandate, and geographic focus; yet, they all have been developing different approaches to tackling challenges identified by their community in Canada. It is the hope of all the contributors to this book that such “positive deviations” from mainstream practice will inspire others in tackling their own challenges, in order to remain significant players in international development.

Table of Contents:
List of illustrations
Acronyms and abbreviations
1 Knowledge for civil society in the rapidly changing ecosystem for international development—Luc J.A. Mougeot
2 Whose agenda? Power, policies, and priorities in North–South research partnerships—Megan Bradley
3 Research for development: modalities and tensions in collaboration between universities and other Canadian civil society organizations—Elena Chernikova
4 Canadian civil society organizations and the role of research in influencing development policy and practice in the Global South—Stacie Travers
5 The learning needs and experiences of Canadian civil society organizations in international cooperation for development—Eric Smith
6 Conclusion: main findings, messages, and pending knowledge gaps—Luc J.A. Mougeot

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Rigorous evidence-based analysis is essential to civil society organizations' programming and policy in global development cooperation. This collection effectively documents how these organizations work and collaborate to acquire and share knowledge, and suggests ways to improve their ability to access and build knowledge to address contemporary development challenges. It is a timely publication for Canadian civil society, as our sector embarks on a new joint project with Canadian researchers to test and document best practices in collaboration between academics and practitioners of international development."
- Julia Sánchez, President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)
"This fascinating collection breaks important new ground with respect to our understanding of how community-based research can change lives for the better. The productive collaborations of civil society organizations across North and South described in these outstanding essays in fact redefine our understanding of the power of applied research in a developing world context."
- Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada