Five Centres on Research for African Development Practitioners

African philanthropy is fast taking its place within the structure of international affairs and global philanthropy. To truly evolve, knowledge, resources, and tools strengthening the African philanthropy ecosystem, and development practice are required.

Several identifiable organizations are rising to the task of amplifying the stories, practices, and knowledge available on the continent. In a bid to shape the narrative of development from the continent, and provide data sets that students of international affairs, researchers, development practitioners, funders, and agencies might refer to, we have compiled the list below:

  1. Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action ARNOVA

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life. Founded in 1971, ARNOVA brings together both theoretical and applied interests, helping scholars gain insight into the day-to-day concerns of third-sector organizations, while providing nonprofit professionals with connections to research they can use to improve the work of their organizations and the quality of life for citizens and communities.

Read more on ARNOVAs work.

2. Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa – AROCSA

The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) is a membership-based organization that seeks to create a platform for meaningful engagement of civil society stakeholders, with the goal of knowledge generation on, and dissemination to civil society by African scholars and practitioners, reflecting global excellence standards and propelling development on the continent. AROCSA was set up with funding from the Ford Foundation West Africa, and mentorship from the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

AROCSA is on a mission to promote and advance a community of excellence in research and practice on civil society in the service of African development. Find out more on AROCSA here.

3. Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment – CAPSI

With a recent partnership with the Center for Social Justice at Cambridge, CAPSI is making strides to amplify African Philanthropy and its practice on the continent. The Center was established among other things to teach, bridge the gaps in research and train on philanthropy in Africa in general and African Philanthropy in particular. Situated at the WITS Business School, South Africa, the Center houses several initiatives such as research fellowships, executive courses, PhD seminars, an annual conference and summer school among others.

Of note, the Center is the premier institution to offer post-graduate degree programmes, short courses, and certifications in African Philanthropy. Find more on CAPSI here.

4. Perivoli Africa Research Centre – PARC

Established in January 2020 by a generous donation from the Perivoli Foundation, the Perivoli Africa Research Centre (PARC) represents the University of Bristol’s cross-disciplinary commitment to championing transformation in research and partnership to advance Africa’s achievement of its own aspirations. PARCs work spans four focus areas: Inquiry and thought-leadership on transforming research cooperation, capstone programmes of research and policy engagement, mutual knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening, and building a community of interest. Connect with PARC here.

5. Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) is an independent, non-partisan pan-African not-for-profit organisation founded in 2011 and located in Nairobi, Kenya.  Spread over 12 African countries, PASGR works to enhance research excellence in governance and public policy in Africa. PASGR works in three programme areas: research, higher education, and professional development & training, with researchers, government institutions, academia, funders etc. Read more on their work here.

Original content authored by Philanthropy Circuit.

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