British Council Partnership for African Social and Governance Research - woman and man at their desks in front of their computers
A woman works on a computer at her desk ©

British Council: photographer Aubrey Wade

Clients Department for International Development (DFID)
Value £8.5 million
2009 to 2014
Country Multiple

Through the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research our project team helps to increase the capacity of African universities and researchers to conduct research that directly contributes to social and public policy in Africa. 

Importantly, we have supported the establishment of an independent African organisation to deliver the initiative, which focuses on three areas.


African researchers are being supported to conduct critical, policy-relevant research in areas such as social protection, gender and service delivery. Nine research teams in six countries have received research grants of USD60,000 to research non-state social protection. A further six national teams have been supported to conduct research into effective public service delivery, resulting in journal publications.

Higher education

Sixteen universities across nine African countries are working in formal partnership to establish a master’s degree relating to public policy. A possible doctoral-level programme focused on social-science research for public policy is being appraised.

Policy, outreach and training

The programme is supporting the wider African research community through outreach and training, and is helping researchers to generate demand for policy relevant research. Over 80 researchers from 21 countries have already completed an innovative professional development course in multi-methods research developed by the programme.


‘The transition process from project to independent organisation happened two years ahead of schedule, thanks to the involvement of the British Council.’ 

DFID Annual Review