European Delegation of Funds

A research facility to better understand inequalities

A European facility for a research program on inequalities in developing and emerging countries
  • logo linkedin
  • logo email
The French Agency for Development (AFD) has received 4 million euros from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO). This funding is being used to implement and coordinate a research facility over a three-year period (2017-2020) that aims to finance 22 research projects on inequalities in developing and emerging countries. The research projects will be implemented by donors and research centers from the North and the South.


The objective of the research facility is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of economic and social inequalities, their drivers and underlying factors at different spatial levels, as well as the most effective policies and approaches to reduce them.
This action also aims to initiate a common reflection among Member States on ways to strengthen the contribution of EU development cooperation to the fight against inequalities, in the framework of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and contribute to the EU development policy overarching objective of poverty eradication.


The main actions carried out by this Facility are:

  1. Global and thematic research projects on the determinants and dynamics of economic and social inequalities in developing and emerging countries are being carried out by European donors, in partnership with research centers.
  2. Research projects are carried out by research centers, AFD research officers, and governments on a selection of countries and cities, in order to respond to the countries’ needs, and to create an opportunity for dialogue on public policies with partner governments on the topic of inequalities.
  3. AFD supports partner countries as well as development institutions in order for them to include the research results into their national policies and development cooperation strategies.



  1. Global and thematic research projects aiming to study the determinants and dynamics of social and economic inequalities in developing and emerging countries. A call for expression of interest was launched on August 15, 2017 and closed on October 16 2017. A first series of projects were selected. A second call for projects was launched on February 6, 2018 and closed on April 6, 2018. A total of eight projects were selected and started in 2018-2019.
  2. Country and city research projects that meet the needs of partner countries, with the aim of supporting partner governments in designing suitable public policies aiming at reducing inequalities. 14 projects were identified and are being implemented by research centers and AFD research officers, with a strong involvement of partner governments. These projects have started in 2018.
  3. Tools to better diagnose and fight against inequalities are being developed in order for inequalities to be taken into account in public policies and development strategies. 
Research Facility Inequalities - Map of Projects
Click to enlarge and see the projets.


List of selected projects






Schéma de la gouvernance VA


The AFD-EU research facility is organized around four committees:

  1. Executive committee: Composed of AFD, DEVCO, and AECID, it meets twice a year and its aim is to select and carry out scientific monitoring of the funded research projects.
  2. Scientific committee: Its role is to support AFD in selecting the research and development projects, as well as their scientific monitoring. This committee is ensured by UNU Wider through its network of researchers.
  3. Strategic committee: It meets once a year and is constituted of organizations that are active in the area of inequalities. Its purpose is to define the strategic priorities of the research facility, as well as to coordinate the Member States around the 2030 Agenda on inequalities. Terms of reference
  4. "Development Policy” working group: Their role is to reflect, together with the governments involved in the country/city research projects, on the how the projetcs' results can be used to develop inclusive public policies.



What results?

The EU-AFD Research Facility aims to better understand how inequalities are created and their consequences in order to improve public decision making. Each project will produce research papers and policy briefs which will be used to translate the research results into evidence based public policies.

The main stages of the program

November 4
EU-AFD Conference - Inequality and redistribution in low and middle income countries

On November 4th AFD organized a conference on the topic of “Inequality and redistribution in low and middle income countries”. The goal was to discuss the role of redistributive policies as instruments for improving equality of outcome through the redistribution of income and for enhancing equality of opportunity by improving the distribution of income-generating assets, such as human capital and wealth.

Please find here the presentations delivered:

December 6 and 7
13th AFD Conference on Development - Inequalities and Social Cohesion

The conference "Inequalities and Social Cohesion" had the goal to make practitioners and researchers discuss about the issues surrounding inequalities and their consequences for social cohesion.

The conference took place in Paris over two days. The first one, Thursday, December 6th, was an academic day with parallel sessions, at AFD. The second one, December 7th, was dedicated to high-level plenary debates open to a wide public and it was held at the Institut du Monde Arabe.

Conference’s webpage

AFD international conference: There is nothing inevitable about inequalities

December 5
AFD-EU Facility Day

Representatives of all the projects of the Facility met in Paris for a day dedicated to the Inequality Research Facility. Here are the activities of this day:

  • Facility projects’ presentation.
  • Strategic Committee meeting. Minutes of the session.
  • Executive Committee meeting.
  • Thematic sessions with the researchers involved in the projects.
February to December
Start of Research Projects


February 6
Launch of the second call for projects

A second call for research projects (global and thematic) was launched on February 6, 2018, and will be open until April 6, 2018. A second series of projects will be selected.

Consult the call for projects

January 15
First public conference of the research facility

AFD held the first public conference on the research facility in Paris, attended by experts from the academic world and international organizations. Titled “Understanding the Global and Local Inequalities”, its objectives were to present the activities and the research program to be funded and to put them into perspective with the current research on inequalities.

Consult the presentation

Consult the minutes


Find out more about this event (in French)


August 15
First call for projects launched

The call for global and thematic research projects was launched on August 15, 2017, and closed on October 16, 2017. It enabled the selection of an initial series of projects. 

Consult the call for projects

August 4
Signing of the delegation agreement
June 14
Kick-off meeting of the research facility

The research facility was presented to the public during a conference held at the European Commission (DG DEVCO), in Brussels.

Interactive map

This map is for illustrative purposes only and does not engage the responsibility of the AFD Group


Tout cocher
Tout décocher


Tout cocher
Tout décocher
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Education and Training
  • Employment
  • Fighting Inequalities
  • Gender Equality
  • Health and Social Protection
  • Sustainable Cities


Display local antennas


Launch search
See map of all projects