Key findings and implications from the India and Bangladesh consultations for the DFID Research Strategy. Consultation for the DFID research strategy 2008-2013


This document presents some key findings and possible implications for DFID's research strategy emerging from the India consultation (29 October to 6 November) and Bangladesh consultation (21 October to 25 October). In developing this document account was take of the results of the consultations conducted in Africa and in China to identify the global emerging research needs and ideas. Appendix A and B describe the consultation objectives and methodology. The main implications are outlined below.

Implications regarding research priorities
Sustainable Agriculture

  • Improving agricultural productivity and livelihoods
  • Limiting agricultural impact on the environment
  • Understanding how to improve the economic value of agriculture
  • Enhancing the take up of good practices and new ideas by farmers

Climate Change and Environment
* Understanding and identifying the Impact of climate change on the poor * Climate change adaptation strategies * Developing new technologies for pollution and waste control

Health and Killer Diseases
* Health systems * Improving access to health * Communicable diseases * Nutrition related conditions

Governance and Social Research
* Effectiveness, accountability and transparency of public institutions * Improve citizen engagement in decision making * Understanding and limiting corruption

* Improving the match between education and required skills * Improving access to education

Implications regarding the research process
Priority setting and selection of proposals

  • Bring a fact based assessment of current country needs in priority setting decisions
  • Engage stakeholders in the country in priority setting through a combination of face to face and online communities
  • Manage your research projects as a portfolio focused on optimising impact
  • Collaborate with the other major funders of research to define priorities and allocate areas to specific donors
  • Shift more of the resources directed at developing country researchers from tightlydefined commissioned research projects to programmes that invite proposals for research in broader topic areas

Building capacity to do research
* Change the terms of reference in research proposals to allow research institutes from developing countries to include training components * Provide integrated or separate research grants for equipment and physical infrastructure to conduct research * Provide ongoing exposure to international experts and establish mentoring relationships * Provide access to international databases and knowledge networks where this is relevant * Address the drivers of brain drain of researchers

Building capacity to use research
* Provide training to users to put research into use, from identifying usable research to planning and executing the implementation * Engage users in the research process where this has the potential to improve the uptake of research

Partnerships for capacity building
* Establish solid legal frameworks, articulate clear goals and align incentives for partnerships * Engage private sector in to partnerships for research e.g. through advanced market commitments

Dissemination of research
* Require a communication or dissemination strategy and budget as part of the research proposals * Provide a single source of information on all the research projects, those by DFID and other donors * Disseminate to users and practitioners through a combination of mass media, people's organisations and direct contact * Search continuously for new and innovative ways of disseminating research, for instance by using the increased penetration of mobile telephony * Develop research guidance notes for policy makers to make it clear how research can be used

Implications of the changing role of BRICS countries
The role of DFID in these countries is changing but clear opportunities for development exist. Ideas for DFID's research strategy emerging from the consultation:

  • Focus on funding projects focused on poverty reduction and inclusive growth and multidisciplinary approaches to studying problems and governance and social research studies
  • Explicitly fund south south partnerships for research studies
  • Provide a network or market place where research institutes, universities from the south can meet each other
  • Provide access to research studies, funded by DFID or other donors and addressing barriers to knowledge sharing such as intellectual property
  • Provide standard partnership models with legal frameworks and other tools to determine incentives and deal with intellectual property issues


Dalberg, 16 pp.

Key findings and implications from the India and Bangladesh consultations for the DFID Research Strategy. Consultation for the DFID research strategy 2008-2013

Published 1 January 2008