Local Research for Better Lives


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The Building Research Capacity in Least Developed Countries program is a demand-driven program launched by the Global Development Network to support research institutions based and working in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to address their needs with an aim to raise and strengthen their research and outreach skills in a sustainable manner. Under this program, GDN is partnering with four academic and research institutions in three countries to implement and monitor specific research capability building programs that are designed and proposed by the institutions themselves.

The program recognizes that the research environment and quality of research undertaken and produced in LDCs are influenced by several factors, most notably: low individual and institutional capacity and expertise in carrying out cutting-edge research; limited graduate and Ph.D. programs; restricted funding opportunities; inadequate infrastructure, resources and data availability; weak research to policy connect; and limited opportunities to engage, collaborate and network with peers locally, regionally and globally. This low capacity environment restricts the ability of researchers in these countries to undertake credible work and inform the policymaking community with timely, reliable analysis and evidence. As a result, there is low demand for their research, and this self-sustained vicious circle of low-capacity, low-credibility and low-demand works as a “low-research capacity trap.”

To address these challenges, the program aims to build the research capabilities of individuals and institutions based and working in LDCs.


  • To develop and strengthen the analytical skills of individuals and institutions based in LDCs to help them undertake rigorous research
  • To encourage networking and constructive engagement in a peer-learning environment
  • To increase the ability of researchers and institutions in these countries to provide timely, reliable and evidence-based policy options
  • To create a network of institutions to share best practices and training materials with other institutions

These objectives are met through technical guidance provided by GDN appointed scientific advisors, and through the creation of an environment for cross-learning and peer-review.

Download the program fact sheet here.


The program is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with US$704,700 from Jan 2014 to Mar 2017.

For further information contact Francesco Obino, Head of Programs.

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