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DfID: Research funding framework 2005-07

01 July 2004

The Department for International Development (DFID) Research Funding Framework 2005-7 outlines the long-term use of DFID funds for research towards the uptake and production of technologies that will contribute to poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Developed from a review of their research, DFID circulated their draft Research Funding Framework for comment.

The Royal Society response outlines that this Research Funding Framework is a useful start towards the development of a long-term research strategy. However, we consider that the Framework could be strengthened by the inclusion of substantially more detail throughout the document.

Our response highlights that DFID need to build capacity to identify, manage and review the research it funds effectively. The response stresses that while the science management infrastructure is being developed within DFID, it is essential that this role is addressed by seeking external support that ensures the quality and focus of the research management. Possibilities include involving other UK research funders or external support.

The Royal Society welcomes the announced introduction into DFID of the post of Chief Scientific Adviser. If introduced at a suitably senior level, such as in other Government Departments, this post holder will be able to strengthen internal mechanisms to manage research and ensure that science is at the heart of DFIDs international development work.

This Framework is being developed at a time when the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Use of Science in International Development Policy, to which the Royal Society responded in November 2003.

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