Despite increasing understanding that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is important for achieving economic growth and reaching development goals, STI in sub-Saharan Africa still suffers from research policy, management and funding challenges. A new policy brief, based on research led by Professor Joanna Chataway (SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit), explores the economic and political context in which Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in sub-Saharan Africa function, the challenges they face and how these can be overcome.
The Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) was set up to support SGCs in fifteen sub-Saharan countries. The research examined SGCs in five case study countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Senegal. The brief investigates the recurring key themes and issues which were evident across case studies such as the role of governments, human resources and the private sector.
Although a number of the challenges faced by SGCs are beyond the direct control of the SGCI, the briefing recommends a number of practical ways to strengthen their capacity to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to the continent’s economic and social development. Similarly, the paper also addresses ways in which regional and sub-regional funders could improve the effectiveness of their funding.