To promote the co-building of solutions and the sharing of knowledge, AFD is increasing the amount of joint research it carries out with partners based in the regions where it operates, be they research organizations, universities, think tanks, national statistics institutes, regional institutions such as UEMOA, or continental bodies such as UNECA. By 2022, 90% of our new research projects will have to involve at least one partner from the region under study.
We are maximizing work synergy with partners in the network of French research centers operating in the same countries as we do (IRD, Cirad, the UMIFRE network), and we also work with the international institutions involved in research and innovation in development policies (national and multilateral development banks, the European Union, universities and research centers, think tanks, and others).
Research to facilitate dialog on public policies
AFD promotes strategic dialog on public policies in the countries with which France maintains privileged relationships. This new form of partnership creates interaction and discussion between the research world and decision-makers that in turn help develop public policies. For example, we finance research activities on topics of interest chosen by the authorities of the partner country and on which we have proven expertise. The research results are then put to discussion at the ministry level and shared with civil society.
Strategic dialog memorandums (Mémorandums de dialogue stratégique - MDS) currently exist with four countries:
- Côte d’Ivoire, with an initial successful experience (2016-2018) that should continue in a second memorandum;
- in Tunisia since 2018;
- in Morocco and Mali since 2019.
Supporting and networking researchers in French-speaking Africa
We pay special attention to promoting research by French-speaking African countries, which suffer from a lack of connections with international research networks. But of course we open to research in all the countries where we operate, including English-and Spanish-speaking countries.
Improving data collection
Data collection is a valuable tool when it comes to implementing activities and results. AFD is therefore working to improve data collection, by strengthening local existing organizations and by using the new digital tools available. We are also very careful to promote feedback on research results, because it’s important to provide accounts on what has been achieved by the projects we finance.
In order to evaluate the outcomes and impacts of projects implemented in crisis and conflict zones, we are developing databases and harmonized tools for remote monitoring and project evaluation. We are doing this along with the partners involved in those projects, and especially as part of the Sahel Alliance.
In the event that a project does not appear to be meeting its target goals, we encourage midterm evaluations.
Capitalization of experience
AFD places importance on capitalization of knowledge learned from evaluations of its actions – and those carried out by its partners – and on documentary and research reviews. This determination to learn is a core aspect of AFD’s approach to knowledge management.
We also promote joint evaluations and help contribute, along with our peers and with Southern NGOs and research centers, to mutual enrichment of evaluation and learning practices