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Collaborative Research : Introduction

In the new 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, AERC will be implementing an enhanced collaborative research model. Besides providing a mechanism for quick generation of policy relevant knowledge, this is also meant to consolidate AERC capacity building gains through the involvement of senior scholars who will thus be retained in AERC’s activities. 

Collaborative Research Themes: 2010-2015

  • Sources and spread of growth opportunities and distribution of benefits

  • Natural resource management, climate change and economic development nexus

  • Regional integration and strategic trade relation: Traditional trading partners and emerging markets

  • Financial sector development.

The enhanced research model will underlie implementation of AERC’s next round of collaborative research projects.  Given our experience with implementing a number of collaborative research projects, the plan is to execute research projects under the four topical and policy relevant themes approved by the AERC Programme Committee. It is noteworthy that natural resource management and climate change themes respond to the emerging new concerns of African policy makers and their development partners. The other themes have been sustained because they remain topical on the development policy agenda in Africa

With these broad topics, the Programme Committee will review and approve proposed research projects for implementation to ensure continued responsiveness to rapidly evolving policy needs.  

Key collaborative research activities: 2010-2015

  • Complete ongoing collaborative projects

  • Establish the AERC senior scholars research programme

  • Development and writing of policy briefs

  • Introduce and manage e-discussions/debate on topical issues

  • Training on policy brief preparation

  • Commission country level research needs assessments

AERC will also pilot a Senior Scholars Research Programme (SSRP) during the plan period. Implementation of this programme will serve to decentralize project management. Invariably, the grants to senior scholars will be limited to those anchored to institutions affiliated to AERC in an attempt to improve institutional partnerships and to manage reputational risks. 

For this purpose, a call for innovative, prospective and policy-relevant research proposals will be issued at regular intervals on research topics determined by the AERC Programme Committee.  The responses to the call will be processed and presented to the Programme Committee for decision after which research grants will be issued. 

Also during this Strategic Plan period, AERC will organize e-discussions/debates with a coordinator pooling together contributions of members and giving a report and, where appropriate, a policy brief for circulation on the AERC website.  The objective of this activity is to enhance the contributions of AERC Network members to debates on African economic development issues at regular intervals.

As a further impetus to enhancing the links between collaborative research projects and policy making, the distillation of policy briefs for wide dissemination will be given special emphasis in all the collaborative research projects.



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