Shaking hands

Higher education institutions as catalysts for poverty reduction and sustainable development 

DelPHE was a follow up to, and built on the experiences of, the Higher Education Links scheme (1981-2006).

DelPHE was seen as a new way to enable higher education institutions (HEIs) around the world to work together to improve:

  • Academic rigour
  • The capacity of research departments and their potential to influence policy and practice
  • The quality of curriculum development and delivery

This would enable HEIs to act as catalysts for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

The UK Government's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office invested £15 million in DelPHE between 2006 to 2013. The programme budget was increased, in September 2009, by an additional £3 million specifically for support to Iraq.  

DelPHE in Ethiopia

DelPHE aimed to support partnerships between HEIs to build and strengthen the capacity of HEIs in Ethiopia.  This was done in order to: 

  • Contribute towards the UN Millenium Development Goals                                                      
  • Promote science and technology related knowledge and skills                                        
  • Influence relevant national policy and practice                                       
  • Build academic and research capacity both at an institutional and individual level.

In order to give the programme a more strategic focus, the projects also had to:

  • Have closer links with broader country level development plans
  • Be based on demand from partner institution and their local community to build good community links   
  • Have stronger mechanisms to promote sustainability                                                
  • Have a broader definition of 'higher education' to include colleges and other post-secondary institutions 
  • Have measures for disseminating and replicating best practice through networks, workshops and information exchanges
  • Have greater synergy between HE partnerships and other FCDO programmes
  • Have good cooperation and information–sharing with other development agencies 

DelPHE projects

In Ethiopia DELPHE supported 12 partnership projects on education, health, agriculture, peace and security, environment, tourism, and energy, with a total budget of £1million.  

You can read about two of the projects here:

Sustainable Ethiopian Tourism Development

Project partners:  

Addis Ababa University, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies , University of Moi


The overall objective of this project was to support the development of sustainable tourism in Ethiopia through:

  • Contributing to the teaching of the MA in Tourism and Development at the Tourism and Development Programme of the College of Development Studies of Addis Ababa University
  • Contributing to policy discussions
  • Facilitating the exchange of personnel (staff and/or students as appropriate)
  • Hosting a major conference on Ethiopian Culture, Landscape, and Tourism in Addis Ababa

It was also expected that the project would help form relationships with international institutional bodies (EC,UNDP, and others) in order for the work of the College of Development Studies in the field of tourism to be continued beyond the time of the British Council's part funding of the project. 


The major outcomes of this collaborative project included: 

  • Teaching of MA students and the successful graduation of two cohorts of students in 2011 and 2012
  • The exchange of professional personnel from Addis to London, London to Addis and from Moi to Addis
  • Short term training and exchange of two Ethiopian students from Addis to SOAS 

In order to disseminate the results of the research output to all stakeholders and to the community at large, two books were published:

  • Participatory Tourism the future of Ethiopia: from Research to Implementation, Model from Adwa Northern Ethiopia (2010)
  • The fundamentals of community based ecotourism development in Ethiopia (2012) 

Capacity Building for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Ethiopia

Project partners

Hawassa University and University of Saskatchewan

Objectives achieved

  • Enrolment of PhD Students: six PhD students: Animal Nutrition (2); Agronomy (1); Horticulture (1) and Soil Science (2) were registered in October 2010. Although the plan was to enrol only three during the academic year 2010/2011, an additional three students were accepted due to the short life span of the CIFSRF project, which financed the field work of the PhD students.
  • Training of the students, research supervision and seminar:  Two courses: Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry; and Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition and Feed Resources Utilization were offered by two Professors from the University of Saskatchewan. The courses were also attended by 11 MSc students and two HU Faculty. 
  • The Canadian Faculty was involved in development of four PhD proposals and visited field sites selected for execution of the PhD projects. 
  • A seminar was offered on N15 Application Technique by a Soil Science Professor from U of S. Twenty three participants (7 female) attended the seminar.
  • The exchange visit has strengthened the internationalisation and experience in tropical agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan Faculty (U of S). Interest in staff exchange increased amongst the Faculty of U of S.
  • All students and the two HU staff who attended the courses in Animal Nutrition appreciated the skills obtained in ration formulation. Students are asking for a similar staff exchange from the U of S.


Research papers:

  • Effects of chemical and biological treatments on the nutritive values of leaves and pods of Acacia tortilis and Prosopis juliflora from Ethiopian Rangelands (five papers are expected from this work when the PhD study is complete)
  • Effect of stinging Nettle (Urtica simensis) leaf supplementation on growth rate, milk yield and quality and reproductive performance of Arsi-Bale Goats (four papers are expected from this work when the PhD study is complete)
  • Nutrient Utilization as Influenced by Varying Levels of Atella in Sheep Fed a Basal Diet of Wheat Straw (Accepted, Ethiopian Journal of Animal Science)
  • Effects of feeding sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) vines as a supplement on feed intake, growth performance, digestibility and carcass characteristics of Sidama goats fed a basal diet of natural grass hay (submitted to Tropical Animal Health and Production, Reviews completed, minor).
  • The effects of tagasaste (Chymancytisus palmensis) leaf meal supplementation on feed intake, growth performance and carcass characteristics of Rhode Island Red chicks (submitted to Tropical Animal Health and Production, under review)

Additional funds:

  • One million canadian dollars was obtained from the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund to conduct research on pulses productivity and nutrition, and to strengthen the PhD training, student exchange and co-supervision of the graduate students.


External links