Strengthening Capacity for Research, Policy Analysis, and Advocacy

Senegal - IDRC

Research designed to inform policy, especially when it is generated locally, is key to advancing development. Photo courtesy of Djibril Sy/IDRC.


Improving lives in the developing world begins with accurate, high quality information that leaders can use to create sound policy. The Global Development and Population Program funds a broad range of grantmaking to ensure that information is available:

Think Tanks

For a variety of reasons, indigenous centers that perform research to inform public policy are less common in the developing world than in the developed world.

In response, the Hewlett Foundation launched a ten-year, $100 million initiative to strengthen independent research centers in the developing world. The goal is to support high-quality research that can be used to formulate national policies. Working in partnership with the Canadian International Development Research Centre, a quasi-public Canadian agency with forty years of experience supporting research on development, the Think Tank initiative provides grantees with a combination of long-term general operating support and technical assistance to improve the quality of research, expand links to policymakers, and strengthen themselves as institutions.  

Training, Research, and Advocacy

The evidence shows that investments in family planning and reproductive health improve the social and economic wellbeing of people in developing countries. The Global Development and Population Program supports a broad range of grantmaking to develop and disseminate research that explores these issues. It ranges from grants to increase understanding of how reproductive health and demographic trends affect poverty and economic growth to training experts in population research and improving access to demographic and economic data that could help policy makers determine how to best allocate scarce resources.