Research Capacity Strengthening in Africa: Trends, Gaps and Opportunities. A scoping study commissioned by DFID on behalf of IFORD.


This report aims to provide an overview of donor support for development capacity building in Africa so as to inform IFORD and especially the Department for International Development (DFID)'s thinking about the value-added role they can respectively play in this environment, either as individual institutions or in partnership with other donors. In the case of DFID, the report is also designed to inform the Central Research Department's thinking around the role of capacity building in its next 5-year research strategy and 20-year Vision of development for poverty reduction.

The study included a desktop/web review of grey and published literature, a systematic review of existing evaluation documents and key informant interviews with donors, intermediary organisations and African institutions that receive support.

The objectives of the study were to:

  • identify the leading donors in the field of research capacity strengthening
  • identify the level and modalities of support
  • identify possible areas of duplication and omission in terms of thematic/disciplinary and geographic coverage
  • suggest where DFID (and other donors) can add value, and
  • identify opportunities for collaboration and partnership with which DFID can engage

The appendices to the report are attached as a separate document, they include:
Appendix 1 - Funding of Research Capacity Strengthening
Appendix 2 - Donor Support to Research Capacity Strengthening in Africa

Appendix 3 - Intermediaries - Organisations and networks involved in research capacity building in Africa
Appendix 4 - Geographical Spread of Research Capacity Strengthening Support in Africa
Appendix 5 - Evaluations
Appendix 6 - Annotated Bibliography
Appendix 7- Key informant interviews conducted between Sept-Oct 2007


Overseas Development Institute, London, UK, 17 pp.

Published 1 January 2007