The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group places research and knowledge sharing at the heart of its activities. Generating and sharing knowledge are key components in efforts to reduce poverty and foster development on the continent. The AfDB has systematically emphasized the critical role that knowledge is expected to play in the transformation of African economies to ensure sustainable development and poverty reduction.
It was on these grounds that the AfDB established a development research department in 2007 as part of the Bank’s reform process. The Development Research Department's (EDRE) principal activities include devising and undertaking a programme of research and analysis on priority social and economic development issues that support the Bank's policy and operations agenda and enriching the knowledge base of its regional member countries in a bid to reduce poverty and attain regional integration.
The department’s research team includes regular staff at the Bank as well as consultants. At any given time, the department has many activities underway, lasting from a few months to several years. Its activities include analysis, involving primary data gathering on the continent’s evolving development and economic situation.
The results of the department’s research are disseminated through a variety of channels. These include newsletters; regular reports for subscribers; refereed journals; bibliographic research tools; downloadable reports; books and working papers. The documents are shared with partners and stakeholders of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, and these include member countries of the group, other multilateral development institutions, individual researchers pursuing research on the continent’s economic development and other continental financial institutions that are collaborating with the group in many respects.