Supporting Africa’s science granting councils to fund and manage research and innovation projects
The Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) is a multi-donor initiative funded by IDRC, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, South Africa’s National Research Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the German Research Foundation. Since its inception in 2015, the SGCI has been strengthening the capacities of science granting councils in sub-Saharan African countries to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to economic and social development. Specifically, the initiative has been strengthening the capacities of councils in research management; use of data and evidence in policy and decision-making; funding research and innovation projects; strategic communications and knowledge translation; and gender equality and inclusivity.
As part of the SGCI’s second phase, IDRC and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation agreed on a new partnership to deepen and extend SGCI’s strategic engagements with up to 17 councils over a period of four years (2022–2025) in areas that are complementary to ongoing SGCI activities. These areas include supporting the councils to fund and manage research and innovation projects.
The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of up to 17 councils to fund and manage research and innovation projects in areas that are aligned with their national development plans and priorities. These priority areas, identified by the councils, include industrialization and manufacturing; sustainable economies and societies; and emerging technologies and development. The key project activities will include supporting councils to design high quality research competitions, manage the contracting process with researchers, synthesize research results and develop research outputs. The project will also support the councils to integrate gender equality and inclusivity in all funded research projects.
A consortium led by the African Centre for Technology Studies and comprised of the Association of African Universities, University of Johannesburg, and Université Cheikh Anta Diop has been competitively selected to implement this project over a duration of 33 months and a total budget of CAD 8.2 million. This project is expected to contribute to the SGCI’s medium-term goals for more effective council investments in research, development and innovation.