Facilitating the African Education Research Funders Consortium

Supported by  Echidna Giving,
This project supports the development of a Consortium for the African education funding community to share insights and identify promising ways to support policy research in the region.

The African Education Research Funding Consortium aims to shift power to locally led and based researchers, pioneer new realms of research, challenge conventional norms long exhibited in the aid space and, ultimately, demonstrate new standards at the heart of funders’ relationships with local researchers.

In early 2022, a group of funders – Echidna Giving, Imaginable Futures, the Gates Foundation and Porticus – invited OTT to help organise a Forum for Education Research in/for/by Africa. There was a clear shared vision around what participants would like to see in 10 years: African researchers and practitioners driving the agenda!

Forum participants identified five recommendations for funders to support education research and practice in Africa:

  1. Drive impact by supporting a long-term vision.
  2. Respond to local needs, agendas, and initiatives by funding local organisations in ways that support their own missions.
  3. Provide funding across the generation, communication and use of evidence.
  4. Deliberately support the inclusion of women, young people, minorities and other disadvantaged groups in education research.
  5. Promote dynamic learning.

Following the Forum, OTT is facilitating the development of the Funders Consortium that will take these recommendations forward.

The Consortium concluded its pilot phase in December 2023 and has now progressed to its second phase. The group will continue to pursue its mission to support members in implementing the five recommendations by focusing on these workstreams: 

1. Community building and convening:

  • Community: Incorporating new members and strengthening the relationships between members by co-investing to support the five recommendations, streamlining reporting data, or mapping players and gaps together to inform institutional funding.
  • Convening: Creating and nurturing spaces for members to engage and collaborate with each other and other relevant actors.

2. Filtering and sharing knowledge: Generating and communicating new knowledge on how to implement the recommendations to support education research and practice

3. Holding members to account: monitoring members’ efforts to adhere to the recommendations

4. Communicating the mission and lessons: Communicating the recommendations, encouraging more funders to follow them, and sharing lessons from the Consortium.

The Consortium currently consists of 11 funders mobilising over $15m+ in education research funding. 

Learn more about the Consortium


Phase 1: October 2022 – December 2023

Phase 2: January – December 2024


Phase 1: USD 139,868

Phase 2: USD 60, 132