For an elderly man in West Africa, it is the comfort of hearing his wife’s voice on his long journey to receive cancer treatment. For villagers in Peru, it is an emergency lifeline following a devastating earthquake.
Building on the IDRC and Organization of American States partnership which established the Network of e-Government Leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean (RED GEALC) in 2003, the joint project Innovations in e-Government in the Americas has strengthened regional capacity to generate and share research evidence. Targeted capacity building and dissemination activities have resulted in a greater ability of both individuals and institutional actors to access research results. This in turn has improved citizen access to public services by linking policy-relevant evidence to government practice.
Zimbabwe continues to experience high levels of poverty and unemployment. IDRC is supporting the University of Zimbabwe’s Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) as it explores the multiple dimensions of the country’s challenges and generates debates and ideas for reconstruction and development. The project research team conducted a baseline survey on poverty, well-being, and inequality in Zimbabwe, and worked to build the capacity of the IES’s own researchers and their contribution to Zimbabwe’s recovery and growth.
Research in Action
Information and Communication
An innovative IDRC initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and apply the Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) approach to their projects. DECI demonstrates the value of mentoring as a training approach, where researchers are coached as they make ready to use the approach.
An IDRC-funded project in Asia found that distance education can be as effective as traditional face-to-face education in delivering quality teaching and a good learning experience. This finding is particularly significant for remote and resource-poor regions in countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia. The project underscored the importance of choosing appropriate technologies and mediums of distance education based on learner needs, capacities, and the socio-economic context.