Research Facility on Inequalities: The Extension

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Extension of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities
Launched in 2021, the second phase of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities focuses on four countries: South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia. Funded by the European Commission with €3 million over 5 years, the Extension of the Research Facility on Inequalities (RFI) will contribute to the development of more effective public policies to reduce inequality in the context of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.


In view of the success of the first phase of the Facility in terms of generating knowledge on inequality and strengthening public policy dialogue, AFD and the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA) have decided to continue the Facility's program under a second phase (2021-2025). The Facility's Extension will thus focus on four countries facing major inequality challenges: South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia

The goal is to make the public policy process more responsive to inequalities, more inclusive and more effective, based on research evidence. To achieve this, the Extension of the Research Facility on Inequalites (RFI) will build on the results achieved by the first phase of the Facility, both in terms of knowledge and methodologies generated and synergies established with European and international development partners.

The activities carried out under the Extension of the RFI will be defined as follows: 

  • The objective is first to target one or more priority themes for intervention by country through prior research work. The work carried out will be based on the tools resulting from the first phase of the Facility, such as the inequality diagnostics, based on the Handbook created in partnership with the African Center of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR). This preliminary work will make it possible to identify the policies and initiatives that will be supported in the future.
  • A set of recommendations related to the previously identified topics will then be issued in each country, which will allow for a better identification of the public policy issues related to the reduction of inequalities. 
  • Tools and methodologies will then be developed and tested in order to inform policy makers on the impacts of public policies on inequalities. 
  • Policy frameworks based on the results of the research and consultations will be developed and validated by local public and political authorities.
  • Finally, support and expertise will be provided throughout the implementation of the identified public policies to ensure their sustainable impact.


The four countries covered by the Extension of the Research Facility on Inequalities (RFI) - South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia - have made the reduction of inequality one of the priorities of their development strategies.

In this context, research projects will be carried out in partnership with local research centres and in close cooperation with governments. This collaboration will then support the implementation of policies that have an impact on reducing inequalities.


South Africa
The Extension of the RFI will support the South African government in identifying and analysing the social effects and externalities of the recovery policy, and will pilot a socioeconomic observatory at the municipal level to support its economic diversification strategy and develop analyses of the local labour market.
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The Extension of the RFI will focus on the labour market, more particularly on the redistributive impact of environmental taxation and on the care economy, by proposing a state and municipal-level care system design.
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The Extension of the RFI will produce a diagnosic on inequalities in Colombia in order to establish an overview of inequalities in the country, and will focus on the implementation of the fiscal incidence analysis through the methodology of the Commitment to Equity (CEQ).
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The Extension of the RFI will produce a diagnostic on inequalities in Indonesia, and will support the Indonesian government in its policy of developing marine protected areas by analyzing the social impacts of this policy.
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The Extension of the Research Facility on Inequalities is organized around three committees:

  1. An executive committee: Composed of AFD and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA). This committee will meet twice a year to monitor the Extension of the RFI and provide overall strategic direction.
  2. A strategic committee: Composed of the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA), AFD, participating EU Member States as well as other development partners active in the field of inequality (OECD, civil society organizations, etc.). This committee will meet twice a year to ensure the coordination of Member States around the 2030 Agenda on inequalities.
  3. A steering committee at national level: To be set up in each of the four countries. This committee will decide on the identification and deployment of activities at national level and will ensure their alignment with the strategic priorities of the national government, the EU and AFD.


8-9 November
Inequality, Work and Nature Conference : Strategic Dilemmas and Policy Resolution in Cape Town
Inequality, Work and Nature Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 8th/9th

This conference is a collaboration between the South African Presidency, the EU, AFD and UCT (through ACEIR). It brought together the political, academic and international development spheres to discuss how the trade-offs between inequality and environmental change are shaping country’s development pathways, focusing on how to build consensus and make progress on the political front. Particular attention was paid to South Africa's just transition.

  • DAY 1 of the conference showcased research on the strategic dilemmas that appear when designing long-term development trajectories that are both ecologically and socially sustainable.
  • DAY 2 engaged high-level government officials and practitioners from especially the Global South to deliberate on specific and meaningful concessions aimed at shaping policy solutions.

You can find the conference replays here.

14th February
6th AU-EU Summit’s side event “(Un)equal Africa : How to ensure equitable trajectories to prosperity?”
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The Side-Event “(Un)Equal Africa – How to ensure equitable trajectories to prosperity?”, co-organized by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and AFD, has been held on 14 February 2022 in the margin of the 6th AU-EU Summit. 

The discussions held highlighted the link between the fight against climate change and the fight against inequalities in Africa.

The replay is available in English and in French. You will find the main conclusions of the event here (in English).