One of the constraints that prevent higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing
countries from engaging in effective and essential research is a lack of research
capacity. This study reports on a north-south collaboration between a group of Flemish
universities and an HEI in South Africa with the specific goal of improving productivity,
quality and capacity amongst researchers. A collaborative project with multiple subprojects
was established in 2003, and extended over two consecutive five-year phases.
Document analysis was conducted of annual reports, monitoring and evaluation
reports, curriculum vitae of participating members, and progress reports of students and
supervisors during this time. The findings of the study illustrate the extent to which research
capacity objectives can be achieved through a north-south partnership. Members of
the collaboration were able to develop intra- and inter-disciplinary partnerships that
resulted in maximising the capacity- building efforts, enhancing both individual and
institutional research --capacity--.