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Arne Tostensen (2006). Bridging Research and Development Assistance. A Review of Danish Research Networks. Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2006: 7)

Danida has provided financial support to research networks with a view to creating better synergies between research and policy/operations. Six networks were reviewed in the fields of health; poultry; agriculture; governance, economic policy and public administration; water; and the environment. The task of research networks in knowledge management is four-fold: knowledge (a) production; (b) dissemination; (c) application; and (d) impact. Research is expected to perform all these tasks. The effectiveness and efficiency of the networks were adversely affected by two main factors. First, the changing aid architecture has involved decentralisation; liberalisation and untying; and budget support and sector-wide approaches, all of which have posed formidable challenges with regard to funding mechanism for research components. Second, the incomplete restructuring of the research council design in Denmark has left the development research community in limbo. Overall, the networks have been successful in consolidating the Danish resource base. They have also largely been successful in disseminating research findings to Danida. The networks have been less effective in bringing relevant knowledge through to application in sector programmes, in large measure due to the new aid architecture. Little is so far known about impact. The cost-effectiveness of the networks is difficult to assess in precise terms. As one-stop facilities their performance is fairly efficient.

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