The East Africa Research Fund (EARF) is a funding facility managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers Kenya (PwC) on behalf of DFID’s East Africa Research Hub (EARH). Through this facility, DFID’s country offices in eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan) are supported to use evidence in order to drive development impact and value for money, linking with UK’s wider science and research agenda in the region.
Procurement and programme management aspects of the projects are handled by the Fund Manager represented by PwC.
The Hub has four main objectives:
- Supporting DFID country offices in the region to use and generate high-quality relevant research and evidence and;
- Supporting regional relevant research which addresses key challenges for countries in the region or are cross-border issues.
- Strengthening the research capacity and systems in East Africa
- Promoting cross-UK government work on science, technology and innovation.
The first two objectives will be achieved through the Strategic Research and Evidence programme, which the East Africa Research Fund is supporting. The second two objectives will be met through the Research Systems Strengthening and Capacity Building programme.
The projects that EARF handles are categorized under two funding windows, namely:
- The Regional Research Programme, providing funding for regional research in the East Africa region to support effective policies and programmes on key issues in the region.
- The East Africa Country Research Programme supporting DFID country offices to generate country specific evidence that directly responds to their programming and policy priorities.
Seven priority regional research areas identified through extensive consultation with DFID country offices, regional advisors and external stakeholders in the region define the scope of the programme. These are:
- How to promote better evidence on the change in the drylands of East Africa;
- How to ensure the discovery of natural resources, such as oil and gas, benefit poor people in the region;
- What are the barriers and enablers to regional economic integration and how to promote economic development that benefits the poor;
- How to harness the benefits of urbanisation for the poor, particularly women and girls;
- Tackling petty corruption; and
- Understanding drivers of conflict and what works to promote security in eastern Africa.
Following its establishment in 2015, the Fund has so far competitively procured several organisations, either as individual suppliers or as consortia from both the regional and international research market, to conduct research projects on varied development-oriented research topics. The output of these research studies will be regional public goods to be made available to governments, donors and relevant stakeholders to promote evidence-based policy making in the region.