While the evidence base on the impacts of global poverty and economic development interventions in Africa is growing rapidly, the share of published research produced by scholars from African countries remains disproportionately low. Thankfully, investments in resources, training and career development opportunities for African scholars have expanded significantly in recent years, which (at least anecdotally) have helped increase African authorship in peer-reviewed journals and drive better policy outcomes on the continent. Yet several unanswered questions remain, including:
With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and an anonymous donor, CEGA and our close partner the Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa (NIERA) are working together on a new initiative, the Collaboration for Inclusive Development Research (CIDR). CIDR aims to systematically document the state of inclusion in global development research while assessing the potential benefits (and costs) of promising inclusion strategies. We will conduct advocacy and outreach activities to disseminate the analysis, and strategically build on our investments.
Research and Data Collection
CIDR will collect both primary and secondary data, aligning with various stages along the research to policy pipeline for African researchers (higher education, training and mentorship, publishing and co-authorship, and policy impact). Our working research agenda will include:
We are excited to announce the release of our CIDR Online Survey (take the survey here). The deadline to respond is February 15th, 2024.
The survey will involve questions pertaining to African scholars’ inclusion in research, and barriers/opportunities across different touchpoints: higher education, training and mentorship, co-authorship and publication, evidence use, and accessing funding. Results from the study may 1) identify the mechanisms by which the inclusion of African scholars drives better research and policy outcomes; 2) identify the barriers to inclusion along the education to research to policy pipeline; and 3) measure the effectiveness of various strategies designed to promote inclusion for African scholars. The results will be aggregated and publicized in a series of reports launching in 2024.
The survey is anonymous, and should take about 30-45 minutes to complete. We provide the option to participate in follow-up interviews; in this case, we would ask for your name.
Please consider taking this survey if you work in, fund, study or conduct rigorous research (e.g. economics, public health, quantitative social sciences etc.) that intends to inform policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Please see this recruitment flyer for more details. We are interested in the responses from those living in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as those from other regions.
In addition to the survey, we are reviewing existing literature on the topic, as well as conducting focus group discussions and interviews with key stakeholders to gather evidence on these questions.
CIDR will organize several convenings over the course of the next two years, including an initial community of practice meeting that will bring together a dedicated group of stakeholders over Zoom to create linkages; introduce CIDR; refine our research methods and agenda; and invite input related to four key focus areas (Higher Education, Training and Mentorship, Publication and Co-Authorship, and Policy Impact). The group will later reconvene to continually update stakeholders and receive feedback, as well as to disseminate our findings.
We will additionally disseminate the results of our analysis, and conduct advocacy and outreach activities so that CEGA, NIERA, and others seeking to drive inclusion in global development research can strategically build on our investments.
Findings from the convening, literature review, and data collection will constitute a paper (or several papers) on the state of inclusion of African scholars in development research. The paper(s) will be put forward to various academic and policy-oriented outputs; with focused recommendations for different actors, including donors, capacity-building practitioners, African governments and universities, US researchers, publishers, and others in the space.
If you have thoughts, feedback, or questions about the initiative (or would like to tell us about your related work in the space) we would like to hear from you. Please contact our program team (emails at right) for more information.
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