In Africa, access to funding opportunities remains a major bottleneck for development researchers to expand their work. Limited technical capacity to map and meet the complex grant requirements has inhibited efforts by these researchers to generate evidence and insights needed to meet the pressing development needs as captured in Africa Agenda 2063, Sustainable Development Goals and other country-specific development plans.
To help bridge this important gap, ALL-IN program, implemented by Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience (MRR) in collaboration with International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), is supporting 12 research projects to test financial and market innovations that take the most promising agricultural tools for families in Africa from the lab to the field.
Implemented in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana and Ethiopia-ALL IN is addressing capacity gaps that confront research institutions in managing large and complex awards. To achieve this, the project conducts continuous tailor-made capacity strengthening sessions designed to equip them with knowledge and skills to develop fundable grant proposals. Through these sessions, researchers get to learn about emerging research tools relevant to their work.
Dr. Florence Muhanguzi, an Associate Professor at the Makerere University, is implementing ALL-IN-funded project seeking to strengthen the resilience and empowerment of women smallholder farmers in Uganda.
“Engaging with new tools in the field such as the project level project level Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) and gender transformative approaches has been empowering and enabled me to translate theory to practice. I have been teaching gender studies for over 20 years, but had not engaged with translating theory to practice,” says Florence
Trainings on writing research grant proposal is already enabling researchers like Florence to secure funds to expand their work. “One key lesson leant is that integrating capacity strengthening in research supports local leadership in research,” says Florence, “The knowledge, skills and confidence acquired from engaging in ALL-IN capacity strengthening events enabled me to apply and win a large grant from one of the international development research funders. As an African researcher, I now know that you can apply for a large grant and win,”
“Inspiring stories like Florence’s are why ICED exists. ALL-IN is ensuring local researchers have the right capacity to generate evidence to help unlock issues like food insecurity in the continent,” says Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED’s CEO.
ALL-IN is providing a unique platform for US-African research collaborations to cross-pollinate ideas and innovations around development research. Through the project, African institutions are leading in defining priorities, working with US university researchers to supplement their own skills, talents, and ideas.