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Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone (AQHEd-SL) is a four-year project bringing together higher education institutions (HEIs) across Sierra Leone to improve quality management in higher education and support the introduction and implementation of outcome-based education. INASP is a minor partner in the project, with staffing levels in the last year of the project equivalent to 0.6 FTEs. With AQHEd-SL coming to an end in 2021, INASP wanted to learn more about our experience of being a minor partner in a Sierra Leone-led project with many partners. We saw this as an opportunity to explore ways that INASP is a good partner and what we could do better, especially in Southern-led projects. It was also an opportunity to learn a bit more about the wider partnership dynamics within AQHEd-SL and also to inform INASP’s approaches to partnerships in situations where INASP is the project lead.
In this research we explored the following learning questions:
- How effectively has INASP supported Southern leadership in AQHEd-SL?
- How do INASP values and approaches fit within overall AQHEd-SL project aims and approaches?
- What does INASP’s experience about being a non-leading partner tell us about how our partners might feel and act in INASP-led projects?
The findings of this research will also feed into a fourth learning question: How does the experience in AQHEd-SL chime with experiences in other projects where INASP has been a minor partner?