A network to support African economists to define and lead the future of locally relevant and actionable development research has been launched.
It was launched by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), an Africa-based and African-led international development research and innovation think tank, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Market, Risks and Resilience (MRR) at the University of California, Davis.
Dubbed ALL-IN Research Network (ARN), it will serve as a resource to the international development community for actionable research led by African researchers.
In a release issued by the organisation on June 8, it said the network supported the creation of locally-led, locally-relevant research agendas, and its engagement with local research institutions leveraging their local expertise and relationships with stakeholders and policymakers to share recommendations.
It said the approach will narrow the gap between national pilot research studies and national programme design, increasing the impact of research investments.
The Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience, Michael Carter, said with the growing capacity in African universities and other institutions, it was time for more of our local research partners to take the lead.
That, he said, was the broad purpose of the ALL-IN Research Network such that it was anticipated that the work will enhance the relevance and long-term impacts of development research in Africa.
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICED, Dr David Ameyaw, said the ARN provides researchers myriad opportunities to enhance their existing capacity and expand their collaborations, including the formation of peer working groups, training and learning opportunities, a working paper series, and other resources.
“Through the Network, ICED will seek to work closely with researchers and research institutions, including universities, to strengthen their capacities to generate evidence key in attaining sustainable development that works for all in Global South countries,” he said.
In his keynote address at the ARN launch, Kenya’s Permanent Secretary at the National Treasury, Dr Julius Muia, said enhancing the capacity of local researchers through ARN was pivotal in achieving evidence-driven development that will bring researchers closer to the attainment of Vision 2030, Africa Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“As a Ministry, we are proud of our longstanding collaboration with local researchers in transforming the continent,” he added.