Science granting councils are central to funding and catalyzing research and innovation. A recent scoping study supported by IDRC in 17 Sub-Saharan African countries underscored the increasingly important role of these councils in national science systems.
However, that study also identified a set of interrelated challenges facing the councils, including limited capacity, inadequate funding, overlapping roles, and poor coordination with other agencies, lack of appropriate legislation, and poor implementation of science and research funding policies.
Responding to these challenges, the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) is focused on strengthening the capacities of science granting councils in order to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to economic and social development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The five-year, CA$13.9M initiative is jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF).
The Science Granting Council Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa will promote effective science granting councils that will strengthen national science systems and lead to nationally led research that contributes to development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The four objectives of the program are to strengthen the ability of participating councils to:
- manage research;
- design and monitor research programs based on the use of robust STI indicators;
- support knowledge exchange with the private sector; and
- establish partnerships between science granting councils and other science system actors.
There are 14 science granting councils or agencies with similar mandates participating in the Initiative. These include Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia from East Africa Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ghana from West Africa and Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe from Southern Africa.