SGCI as a partnership
The SGCI was launched in March 2015 initially as a partnership of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF). SGCI-1 strengthened the abilities of Councils from 15 countries to: manage research, design and monitor research programmes based on use of robust Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) indicators, support knowledge transfer to the private sector and strengthen partnerships between SGCs and with other science system actors. This first partnership (SGCI-1) ended in September 2020, overlapping with a second 5-year phase (SGCI-2) which began in June 2018 through additional investments by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), IDRC and NRF. The German Research Foundation (DFG) joined in November 2019 as an Associate Funder, contributing towards specific activities. In February 2022, we welcomed additional support to the SGCI from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation in partnership with IDRC and NRF. Science Granting Councils (SGCs) from 17 countries in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa have partnered with us in the delivery of the programme. The SGCI aims to strengthen the capacities of these SGCs to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to economic and social development.
SGCI Expected Outcomes
SGCI Phase II
Commencing in June 2018, SGCI-2 has deepened, expanded, or redesigned the activities in five themes working with 17 councils.
Capacity strengthening activities are implemented by a group of Collaborating Technical Agencies (CTAs) who have expertise in the Initiative’s thematic areas. The SGCI employs various capacity strengthening approaches including training, customised technical support, peer learning, joint learning forums and provision of grants for projects. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) and Political Economy Analyses (PEAs) are support activities relevant for overall implementation of the Initiative. The SGCI draws synergies from several other activities in which the Councils are actively engaged. These include the Global Research Council (GRC), multi-funder research platforms such as the COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund (CARGF) and the O.R. Tambo Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI).
The Initiative Management Team (IMT) composed of staff from IDRC and NRF is responsible for programming oversight while the Executive Committee (EC) comprising representatives of the SGCI Funding Partners provides strategic oversight. Poised between the IMT and the EC, a Panel of Advisors (PoA) provides strategic advice and guidance on as-needed basis. The Councils Committee (CC) comprises the Heads of Research Councils (HORCs) who partner with the EC to share experiences on the delivery of the Initiative
The SGCI has evolved into an effective platform for networking and facilitates strategic partnerships at different levels, including between and among Councils in the context of collaborative research and other activities, funders, technical agencies and other STI system actors. The SGCI has contributed significantly to the global stock of knowledge by commissioning a series of papers on emerging STI topics to inform the Initiative’s Annual Forums. These and several other SGCI-funded studies have led to journal articles, reports, books, manuals and guidelines for use by Councils. It is expected that capacity strengthening by the SGCI will lead sustained changes in the work of the SGCs.