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Donor Support to Southern Institutes

These informed discussions about donor policy to strengthen southern socio-economic analytical capacity took place, as part of a series, focussing on modes of donor support. A workshop was held in Durban, South Africa on 12-13 June 2001 to discuss the following issues:

Should DFID increase its support to southern analytical capacity? Is existing research funding not enough? Where are the gaps? And if there are, how can DFID-support address this?

What kind of research or analytical capacity is most relevant? Is the model of socio-economic research that ESCOR is based on, the best way? How can this research influence policy for poverty alleviation, how can funding support this link? Should this incorporate support to government institutions? What kind of capacity is required for this? Should the research focus on local needs or also incorporate international concerns?

Who should support this? Should DFID do this, do we have a comparative advantage? What are other donors doing, and could DFID support them? Should it be Headquarters or country offices, or a combination? Is there a lack of human resources to take this on? Can this be subcontracted? Do the British-council managed links provide a model?

What would be the best modalities to support capacity? Can it build on and support any of the existing programmes? Would it be a simpler research competition, and what kind of capacity building elements should be built in? How should this contribute to the sustainability of research institutes? What are the best mechanisms and duration for research funding? Does it suffice to fund the strongest institutions? (2001)


Tony Killick