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African research gets a boost from five-year grant

By Stephine Ogutu | May 14th 2020

The International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) has secured a five-year research grant from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience (MRR Innovation Lab)

ICED will lead the implementation of MRR Innovation Lab’s Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL IN) in Africa.

Research will develop and test financial and market innovations that take the most promising agricultural tools for families in developing economies from the lab to the field.

ALL IN is designed to address capacity gaps among many research institutions in managing large and complex awards (particularly the unique complexities of managing the United States Agency for International Development awards).

“With the growing capacity in African universities and other institutions it is time for more of our local partners to take the lead,” said Michael Carter, director of the MRR Innovation Lab. “We anticipate that doing so will enhance the relevance and long-term impacts of the research.”

Over the years, Feed the Future Innovation Labs have been built on partnerships between researchers at U.S. universities and researchers at host-country universities and institutions. Historically, these partnerships have been led, in both program administration and the ideas that drive the research, from the U.S. ALL IN will seek to shift this leadership role to researchers in Africa.

ICED President and CEO, Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw remarked: “The partnership will place ICED in the position to promote an indigenous, culturally sensitive research program. Our projects will be led by researchers who understand the context and culture on this continent and who are closely related to policy makers and understand the intricacies of policy.” Under ALL IN, nearly $6 million will be made available for African-led research activities in the focus areas of research.

Ameyaw added: “Where the whole world’s attention is on Africa, there is no opportunity for Africa to fail on development policies. The whole world’s attention is drawn to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Agenda 2063, there is a need to anchor Africa development policy on sound evidence.”

ICED currently has Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with research institutions in Africa such as USIU-Africa in Nairobi, The University of Nairobi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, Makerere Universityand The Compbell Collaboration.

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