First, it was a joint initiative between some of the major regional institutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. These institutions had the potential to be the engine of the debate on inequality and inclusive growth, and to play a key role in influencing development policy and strategy.
Second, it looked to promote the exchange of information between Asia, Africa and Latin America. The benefits of inter-regional knowledge exchange could be significant, but were as yet under-utilised. Third, it looked to build the capacity of Southern research institutions, rather than relying on capacity in the North. Research evidence is most relevant to local conditions, and most effective as an advocacy tool, when that evidence produced by national and/or regional institutions in the South. Fourth, it focused on the transformation of research into policy, rather than the generation of research alone. This was because of the substantial political constraints to addressing inequality, which meant that an automatic link from research evidence to policy change could not be taken for granted.