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Departmental Research

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department’s estimated change in expenditure on departmental research will be over the next (a) year, (b) two years and (c) five years; and what areas of research will be targeted. (241528)

The forecasted expenditure on centrally managed research is £134 million this financial year (2008-09) rising to £181 million next year (2009-10) and £220 million in 2010-11 through to 2013-14.

The areas of focus for the Department for International Development’s (DFID) research is set out in the DFID Research Strategy 2008-13 published in April this year. The six theme areas are health, sustainable agriculture, growth, climate change, governance in challenging environments and future challenges and opportunities.

A link to the DFID Research Strategy is as follows:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/Research-Strategy-08.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department takes to ensure that relevant research informs its policy making. (241530)

The Department for International Development (DFID) works closely with research programmes and draws on appropriate evidence and knowledge as it becomes available. DFID has recently re-organised the management of research so that research teams work directly with policy teams. There will also be a much enlarged policy and research communication team, which will include a new team on research uptake. The mandate of this team is to ensure that processes are in place that enhance access to and use of research. This includes:

(i) Knowledge Brokers whose mandate is to sign-post policy advisers with relevant research information;

(ii) A new synthesis function, to systematically review relevant research in a defined policy area;

(iii) Management of a range of research communication programmes that make research more accessible (for example, through policy briefs, short research summaries, better reporting of research findings in the media); and

(iv) Introduction of Senior Research Fellows who will provide scientific leadership and enhance the relevance of research in policy and practice.

Further information on DFID research is available through the central portal at:

http://www.research4development.info/