One of the main objectives of the AGI action Plan is to anchor the institute in the landscape of operational research on developmental governance in Africa.
The case for an advanced operational research programme at AGI is impeccable: Now, more than ever before, in an era characterized by the importance of knowledge, policy makers across Africa are in need of a rigorously assembled evidence base both for decision-making and the conduct of public action. Also, as public institutions begin to be rebuilt across Africa in the context of the construction of an African Developmental State, new research needs and issues will arise that will require to be serviced by Africans for Africans. AGI have the mandate to contribute in this process as a pan-African institution serving governments, regional and continental organizations, development partners and other stakeholders in the governance of development in particular Non-state Actors. Furthermore, research undertaken at or coordinated by AGI would contribute to the consolidation of the nascent and much needed research-policy nexus in African development. Additionally, African voices in global development debates will be enhanced, including on such questions as the construction of a democratic, capable and accountable State in Africa ; the public administrations reform ; the reconfiguration of the international development architecture and the governance of the international financial system; ….. A strong research base at AGI would also underpin the capacity enhancement work undertaken by the Institute while a better understanding would be gained of the African context of development policy-making and the enduring parameters in the African environment that condition socio-economic transformation.
The advanced operational research programme that would be carried out at AGI will be inspired primarily by and anchored on the African Governance Agenda. This way, AGI research will avoid a one-size-fits all generalization and, at the same time, seek to be relevant by providing ideas and practical responses to requests and problems of governance which states, peoples and institutions in Africa are facing. It will also aim to bring an African understanding on global development processes, especially where a need exists for the articulation of scientific perspectives and policy actors.
Based on an inductive approach, the research work that would be undertaken would be carried out by mixed teams of consultants, high level researchers and policy makers. The research products that will flow from the work of the Institute will include books, monographs, journal articles, research briefs, and policy briefs. These products will be delivered both in traditional print formats and through various digital media. At least three new advanced operational research projects would be organized annually.
The operational research work of the Institute will be undertaken in close collaboration and partnership with the African Union Commission (in particular the Department of Political Affairs mandated on governance issues); the Governance and Public Administration Division of the UNECA ; the Economic and Financial Governance Division of the AfDB; the IDEP; the APRM ; the Regional Economic Communities (RECs); relevant national authorities of African Countries mandated on governance issues; and various specialized/ sectoral national development agencies involved on sectoral or transversal issues of developmental governance. Also, alliances will be forged with relevant pan-African research and capacity development organizations, national universities, and high level research centers in Africa. Furthermore, global strategic alliances will be pursued with such institutions as ECDPM, FOSI, TrustAfrica and Transparency International. Similarly, proactive steps will be taken to forge working relations with AFRIMAP, the UNDP, CABRI, the ATAF, the OBI and other relevant institutions whose mandates incorporate a strong development core. Finally, non-governmental institutions active in the domain of development and whose work allow for partnership for the generation of policy knowledge around their fields of interest will also be embraced.
In close link with the advanced operational research programme, Capacity enhancement of institutions and individuals is one of the tasks assigned to AGI in its mandate. The strengthening of the capacity is incorporating the issues of the implementation of decisions, policies and best practices in different components of developmental governance and their monitoring and evaluation. These are the biggest challenges which African countries continue to face as they strive to tackle the problems of poverty reduction and access to an effective, sustainable and legitimate development. With the global economic crisis and the definition by the partners in the development of new aid modalities (NAM), the requirements for responsible democratic governance is increasing along with the need for enhanced accountability to the citizens. For the various stakeholders of developmental governance, the daily challenge that arises is that of mastering the changes that occur (or to anticipate them) and the ability to react with the ultimate goal of development effectiveness of States and African peoples. It is therefore necessary to build a proactive and continentally oriented capacity enhancement space, particularly to enable them to acquire, renew and / or update and share their knowledge. The capacity enhancement programme will also allow African policy makers and democracy and development practitioners to network among themselves, identifying and solving common problems and sharing insights and experiences. The ultimate goal is to develop communities of knowledge and practices on the issue of developmental governance between the participants.
AGI has first chosen to position itself on a few specific and targeted themes to avoid duplication with what already exists and to anchor its capacity development programme in the African Agenda for Development Effectiveness and the African Governance Agenda. These include:
The assessment of the instruments of promotion of governance in Africa;
The domestic revenue mobilisation;
Audit and general account ;
The social accountability (Constituency) ;
The Electoral institutions and processes;
The Public Administration Reform.
The intended outcomes of this area of AGI work are the following:
1. Strengthened and updated capacity for the implementation of democratic, accountable and developmental governance principles by African, particularly for the Non State Actors.
2. New ideas and strategic messages on development effectiveness and developmental governance identified incubed.
3. Decision support on governance issues for African decision makers and for development partners.
4. Establish a network and a community of practices on these thematic between participants.
5. Embed change at the level of institutions and in the practices of institutions and individual actors on different issues of developmental governance.
The activities under this output include capacity enhancement workshops and training of a limited number of targeted actors; publications of research papers on new ideas and innovations in democratic and developmental governance in Africa; elaboration and dissemination of toolkits and guidance notes to assist trainees in the implementation of better practices on these issues.