This case study explores how the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), part of the University of Ghana, established itself as a premier research and post-graduate training program in Africa after a leadership transition in 2006. The Hewlett Foundation commissioned the case study, which is based on interviews with internal and external stakeholders, as well as a review of relevant documents, in order to inform the foundation and other demographic training programs about the factors involved in developing a strong research program and the financial sustainability of an academic program within a university.

Among the factors to which the case study attributes RIPS’ success are: visionary leadership; faculty commitment to RIPS’ vision and mission; high entry and progression standards for students; and the establishment of a strong research culture. Among the factors contributing to RIPS’ financial sustainability is the creation of an endowment fund to provide funding for the Institute’s operating costs and scholarships.