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CEGA Initiative - Collaboration for Inclusive Development Research

Collaboration for Inclusive Development Research


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:

  • What is the state, and potential benefits, of “inclusion” for African Scholars in impact evaluation (IE) research?
  • What progress has been made to date, and what barriers remain?
  • Which actors are best positioned to address the remaining gap, and in what ways?

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:

  1. Describing the current state of inclusion along the pipeline (i.e. what share of development economics literature published on Africa has an African co-author?),
  2. Detailing barriers for researchers (i.e. what are the barriers to obtaining a PhD in the social sciences or accessing training and mentorship programs in both Africa and the US/Europe?),
  3. Cataloguing and evaluating efforts to bridge gaps, and
  4. Putting forth a theory of change for donors, capacity building practitioners, research institutions, and universities to strategically add value.

We plan on reviewing existing literature on the topic, undertaking surveys of US-based and African researchers, 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.

  • Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation



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