In 2009, the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), an African-led, regional non-profit policy think tank, was established to help bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice in the areas of population change and sustainable development, and health systems strengthening in Africa. The purpose of AFIDEP’s work is to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development by enabling the formulation of policies and programme interventions that are informed by sound research evidence in these focus areas.
In spite of on-going efforts to improve the utilisation of research evidence in decision-making in Africa, there remain major challenges. Available research is largely fragmented in different scientific publications and not appropriately packaged for use by decision-makers. Furthermore, the evidence often does not fully meet the policy and programme needs of decision-makers since they rarely contribute to the initial identification of the knowledge gaps that the evidence seeks to fill. Use of evidence is particularly weak in closing the big gap between policies and implementation, which remains one of the most critical development challenges in Africa. This is partly because there is limited research evidence to inform effective design and implementation of interventions that have the best potential to improve lives.
To contribute to addressing these challenges, AFIDEP has three overarching objectives:
Synthesise and translate research evidence
Enable the utilisation of research evidence in decision-making
Strengthen capacity in research evidence synthesis, translation and utilisation
Since its inception, AFIDEP has made notable contributions in translating and enabling the uptake of research evidence in various decision-making processes in its areas of focus at national and regional levels in sub-Saharan Africa. AFIDEP’s 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan provides a framework to guide the Institute in building on these past gains as well as expanding and strengthening the scope of our programmes.
Specifically, we will expand the thematic and geographic scope of our research; intensify efforts that enable increased utilisation of research and related evidence in decision-making at national, regional and international levels; initiate innovative programmes that strengthen the capacity of decision-makers and scientists in translation and utilisation of evidence; and strengthen strategic partnerships with governments and other key policy actors in sub-Saharan Africa.
To achieve these aspirations, we will also strengthen our internal systems and processes. AFIDEP has assembled a multi-disciplinary core staff comprising of experts trained in various social sciences, public health, policy analysis and communications. This team will be expanded during the next five years in line with the changing needs of our programmes. The Institute’s core staff is complemented by a network of Associate Fellows who contribute to our work and seek to strengthen the impact of their own work through our programmes and connections. AFIDEP is governed by a Board of Directors comprising distinguished experts, who provide strategic guidance and oversee the running of the organisation.
We make research evidence matter in African-driven development.
To translate and enable utilisation of research evidence in policy-making, primarily in the fields of population change and sustainable development, and health systems strengthening in Africa.
Translation of evidence comprises its generation, synthesis and repackaging for policymakers. We work on the premise that policymakers should have access to robust and usable evidence. We enhance the capacity of African policy-makers to play a lead role in defining the need for, and utilisation of, such evidence.
We pride ourselves as an African-led institution that is working toward galvanising sustainable development in Africa.
As an institution, we are guided by a set of important values. Among these are:
We are focused, committed and rigorous with our work.
We are fair, friendly and energetic, and we support each other.
We are client-oriented and impact-led.
We expect to exceed our clients' expectations.
We believe strongly in partnering with others at national, regional, and international levels and with a range of actors in government, academia, implementation agencies and development partners, so that together we can have a bigger impact.
We absolutely expect our work will make a significant contribution to Africa’s equitable development.
AFIDEP is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation with a mandate to work on African development policy issues by the Republic of Kenya’s Non-Governmental Organisations Board under Registration No. OP218.051.2009/0595/6183.
The seed funding for establishing AFIDEP was provided by the non-profit organisation, Venture Strategies for Health and Development based in Berkeley, California. AFIDEP’s current programmes are funded by, among others, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.