Strengthening Research Capacity and Evidence-Based Policy-Making in Afghanistan and Central Asia: A Research and Public Policy Initiative
Afghanistan and the wider Central Asian region lack capacity to conduct empirical analysis and create policies based on research evidence. To address government priorities, the region needs quality research driven by local demands and analytical skills that can inform effective development responses through policy. This 39-month project, co-funded by Aga Khan Foundation of Canada (AKFC) and implemented in collaboration with three centres at the University of Central Asia, will take a regional approach to addressing the problem. The research will reflect current strategies for rebuilding Afghanistan and draw on Aga Khan Development Network's experience in the region. The project will strengthen the research and policy-making practices of select government, civil society, and tertiary institutions and representatives in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic. The project's three components include: -Build capacity for evidence-based public policy-making and analysis in all three countries through the university's Institute of Public Policy and Administration; -Support a group of regional researchers on issues of mountain economies and natural resource management through the Mountain Societies Research Institute; -Strengthen the planning capacity of local government representatives in economic and community development, particularly in rural areas, through the School of Professional and Continuing Education. While Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic are outside IDRC's normal programming scope, their inclusion is integral to the regional approach recommended by AKFC, which is investing a significant amount of its own resources in this project.