Southern Leadership Locally-led or Northern-led? An examination of research citations in developing countries' policies


Public policy in developing countries often grapples with complex challenges, requiring context-relevant insights to foster effective solutions (Ascher 2017). These insights are frequently derived from academic research, which influences the development and implementation of these policies (Hudson, Hunter, and Peckham 2019). While both locally-led (Southern), and external (Northern) research can contribute to policy making, the geographical origin of the research cited in public policy documents and its influence on policy direction remains unclear. This ambiguity forms a critical knowledge gap, especially considering the potential of Southern-led research to offer context-specific insights and contribute towards sustainable local development. This study aims to delve into the geographical origin of research citations in public policy documents of developing countries, providing insights into the relative influence of Southern-led and Northern-led research. ● To determine the proportion of Southern-led and Northern-led research citations in public policy documents. ● To identify factors that may influence the citation of Southern-led research. The study seeks to answer the following research questions: What is the proportion of Northern-led versus Southern-led research cited in the public policies of developing countries? Moreover, what factors influence the tendency to cite Southern-led research in public policy documents? The potential significance of this study is manifold. It promises to add a crucial dimension to our understanding of the role of Southern-led research in public policy-making, contributing towards a more inclusive and context-specific policy-making approach. Shedding light on the factors influencing Southern-led research citation can help policymakers and research institutions strategize to enhance the visibility and impact of such research. Lastly, this study's findings could guide PEP's mission to promote Southern-driven development, strengthening its argument for Southern leadership and assisting in its fundraising efforts. Literature Review Research is


Project leader: Filipe Lage de Sousa

Project researchers: Bernardo Cabral

Journal publication

No journal publications.

Working Papers

No working papers.

Policy Briefs

No policy briefs.

Final report

No final reports.


No proposals.

Copyright © 2008-2024 PEP. All rights reserved.
If you have any question or if you need assistance, please contact: