Evaluation of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) 2017–2021
The purpose of the evaluation is to provide constructive input to CODESRIA management for the design of a new strategic plan (SP) and to provide Sida with input on how to support CODESRIA in the next phase. The overall assessment of CODESRIA during the period under evaluation is positive. Still, CODESRIA is facing basic dilemmas in terms of how the organisation is to relate to and become more relevant for its overarching goal. There is scope for short-term change and improvements, but CODESRIA should consider alternative strategic options and make careful decisions in the new SP. CODESRIA is found highly relevant for Africa at a time when critical social science research is increasingly under pressure. CODESRIA has more limited relevance for the best African SSH researchers, who seem to have found other publication platforms for their work. CODESRIA’s relevance for the donor objective of ‘poverty reduction and sustainable development’ is less clear due to the organisations limited focus on research dissemination beyond academia. CODESRIA’s two most important managerial constraints are delays in publications and vacant positions for senior staff. The report contains recommendations.