The Southern African Development Research Network (SADRN) regional initiative funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and managed by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). SADRN's objective is the co-ordination and delivery of policy-relevant research in the southern and eastern African region, as well the provision of related technical support to policy-makers. Its launch workshop in October 2007 was attended by more than a dozen regional economic and research institutions.
SADRN will capitalise on existing networks in the region and operate through annual rounds of stakeholder consultation, as well as workshops and seminars. Research efforts are focussed within three broad thematic areas identified as key at the Launch Workshop:
- Industrial policy and sector development at the regional level;
- Service sector development and the impact on poverty; and
- Trade policy and its linkages to pro-poor growth.
Implementation of these research themes will provide an opportunity to bring the regional and relevant global research communities together to engage in an ongoing policy debate and development process. This process will also involve institutional capacity-building and institutional strengthening in the region. In addition, the Network aims to provide an effective channel for training and dissemination of research and policy activities. The envisaged outputs of the Network in the medium term are as follows:
- Increase the supply of policy-relevant research in the SADC region;
- Improve the policy relevance of research through strengthening the capacity of policy-makers to be discerning research 'users';
- Develop an appreciation for evidence-based policy-making by engaging policy-makers in the design, specification, implementation and review of research projects; and
- Build institutional capacity in key policy research institutes in SADC via the creation of Working Groups in focused thematic areas of research.
SADRN is therefore inviting interested regional institutions to submit Expressions of Interest to host one of the themes described above for a minimum of two years. The scope of activities in the specified thematic area shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Conduct policy-relevant research in the selected thematic area;
- Identify existing research and knowledge gaps;
- Conduct training courses, seminars and workshops;
- Maintain consistent communication and network with regional policy-makers on the subject;
- Create, maintain and update a database of existing information on institutions, available research and expertise in the region;
- Disseminate the outputs and outcomes of all activities; and
- Involve and develop younger researchers and provide mentoring support of a technical nature.
We invite interested institutions from Southern Africa, including research organisations and relevant university departments, to submit brief technical and financial proposals by Friday 29 February 2008. Further information may be obtained from Mmatlou Kalaba - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 012 431 7900 or fax: 012 431 7910.