ATPS

Search
Close this search box.

Strengthening the National Research and Innovation Funding Agencies in West Africa - SRIFA

Project Duration: 2023-2025 

 

Grantor: International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

 

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nicholas Ozor; Executive Director, African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS);

Emails: nozor@atpsnet.org; executivedirector@atpsnet.org   

Co-PI: Prof. Peter Azikiwe Onwualu; Acting President, African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, Nigeria  

Grant Amount: US$ 729,320

Project Description

The Science Granting Councils (Councils) play critical and strategic roles in supporting research and innovation that contribute to the social and economic development of any country. The Councils are charged with the responsibility of research funding, quality assurance, policy and decision-making, knowledge exchange, and training/capacity building of the science system actors to ensure that outputs from the research and innovation endeavours are used to inform policy and practice. Given this important role, and in view of the dynamic nature of research and innovation developments, their capacity to perform these responsibilities to achieve desired goals needs to be continuously strengthened. Compared to other regions in Africa, only a few countries in West Africa have established agencies responsible for research and innovation funding. The Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is providing support that will strengthen the national research and innovation funding agencies in West Africa. This project aims to strengthen the national research and innovation funding agencies where they already exist (Burkina Faso, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire) to improve their performances as well as support the development of institutional frameworks/mechanisms for the development of new research and innovation funding agencies in countries where they do not currently exist (Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone).

This project will be implemented by African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and its partner, the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) working together in a joined-up approach with other Collaborating Technical Agencies (CTAs) to provide the requisite training and technical support to strengthen the national research and innovation funding agencies or their equivalents in the six participating West African countries.  To achieve this, the project team has developed three interrelated but distinct Work Packages (WPs) namely: Situational analyses and needs assessment of the research and innovation funding ecosystem in the six participating countries (WP1); Training and Technical support for strengthening the national research and innovation funding agencies where they already exist (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal) (WP2); and Technical support for developing institutional frameworks and mechanisms for establishing new research and innovation funding agencies (Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) (WP3). The methodology and approaches for operationalising the WPs are informed by the best practices and joint wealth of experience of the consortium partners in undertaking similar assignments for four decades and the benchmarking of performance standards in research and innovation funding in Africa and beyond.  It is expected that the series of activities (training and technical support) that will be provided by the project team will lead to improved capacity of Council staff to effectively carry out their functions and mandates, especially in research and innovation funding. It is also expected that the process of establishing new research and innovation funding agencies will be kick-started in countries where they do not already exist using the institutional frameworks/mechanisms that will be developed under WP3. Furthermore, there will be an increased opportunity for Councils and emerging Councils to collaborate, share knowledge and network through a community of practice (COP) that will be established along the research and innovation funding ecosystem in the target region.

Goal and Specific Objectives

The overall goal of this project is to provide training and technical support that will strengthen the national research and innovation funding agencies in six selected West African countries namely, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Specifically, the project aims to: 

  1. Identify the needs/areas for support in the six participating countries, with subsequent activities to be undertaken (taking into account other activities under SGCI-2); 
  2. Improve how science granting councils function in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal by aligning strategy, structure, resources and management processes (e.g., in project monitoring, financial reporting and communicating research results); and  
  3. Develop organizational frameworks (e.g., policy, legislative, financial, administrative, and institutional) to create science granting councils in the three countries where they do not yet exist (Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone).
Key Activities
  • Undertake Review of the Policy and Institutional Landscape of the Research and Innovation Funding Ecosystem
  • Conduct Comprehensive Stakeholder Mapping and Analyses of the Research and Innovation Funding Ecosystem in the Participating Countries
  • Conduct Needs Assessments for the Participating Countries
  • Co-development and Co-design of Training Programmes based on the Identified Needs of each Councils.
  • Delivery of Training Programmes in Needs Areas to each of the Councils
  • Customized Technical Support to the Councilsand stakeholder for establishing their Councils
  • High-level Policy and Stakeholder Dialogue and Workshops for the Establishment of a New Research and Innovation Funding Agencies in Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone
  • Learning and benchmarking visits organised to successful and well-performing Councils in Africa
Expected Outputs and Outcomes
  1. In-depth understanding of the statuses of research and innovation funding ecosystems in the six participating countries in terms of the relevant policies and institutions; key actors, their roles, linkages, power and influence as well as their needs for more effective Councils where they exist.
  2. Institutional frameworks for the establishment of new research funding agencies or its equivalents where they do not exist. 
  3. Effective and improved delivery of services of the Councils and new research funding agencies that are established through robust institutional frameworks and mechanisms. 
  4. Improved interaction and knowledge sharing and experiences between and among community of practice (COP) through the ATPS web-based ICE platform
  5. Increased capacity of the Councils to effectively deliver on their mandates, especially on research and innovation funding. 
  6. Establishment of new funding agencies in Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with institutional frameworks and mechanisms for the effective functioning in place.
  7. Stakeholders in the countries acquire capacities to effectively run the agencies as well as engage in high-level policymaking processes.
Skip to content