Higher Education

The Higher Education Programme strengthens the provision of graduate-level education by enriching the teaching and practice of social science research for public policy in Africa.  This programme facilitates collaborative higher education programme development and active communities of practice.


Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP): The Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP) is a unique collaborative graduate programme offered in multiple universities in Africa from 2014. With a dual focus on social science research and public policy (as distinct from public administration or public management), the programme is attractive to those who wish to be researchers and future academics as well as those who wish to use research as policy practitioners.

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) worked with 13 universities in 7 African countries to design the programme collaboratively. This means the MRPP is delivered using a common architecture, course content and teaching practices, with the degree granted by each university using common assessment standards and thesis requirements.

MRPP’s vision is a programme that provides for the development of competencies in research and public policy that would generate a cadre of professionals able to work in a wide variety of settings including but not limited to government bodies, think tanks, civil society organisations, regional and international organisations, media and universities.

Visit www.mrppafrica.org for more details.

The Partnership for Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PedaL): Was launched on 6 August 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. It all began when The Partnership for African Social Governance and Research submitted a proposal in response to the Department for International Development (DFID) call on Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR), which aims at supporting higher education transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

PedaL is a project under the umbrella of The Partnership for African Social Governance and Research (PASGR) which is an independent, non-partisan pan-African not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 and located in Nairobi, Kenya.  Currently engaged in more than 12 African countries, PASGR works to enhance research excellence in governance and public policy that contributes to the overall well-being of women and men.

In partnership with individual academics and researchers, higher education institutions, research think tanks, civil society organisations, business and policy communities both in the region and internationally, PASGR supports the production and dissemination of policy-relevant research; designs and delivers suites of short professional development courses for researchers and policy actors; and facilitates the development of collaborative higher education programmes.

The Partnership for Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PedaL) will target all 13 Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP) universities and 3 other universities under the umbrella of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). The project focuses on pedagogical training for teaching staff in selected programmes in social sciences, across 4 years.

Click to download  PedaL brochure


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Doctoral Programme in Public Policy: The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) has commenced the process of designing a new doctoral initiative with a multi- disciplinary focus on public policy as well as social science research methods. The doctoral initiative will pay special attention to the capacity deficits, gaps and erosion of quality among the current generation of early to mid-career academics, researchers whose goals are to produce high quality social science research that addresses key development problems for public policy. The purpose will be to enhance the capacity of doctoral candidates to effectively and creatively deploy rigorous mixed method research strategies not only to produce quality theses/dissertations but also to mentor young researchers and to contribute increased research output on the continent.

The need for a doctoral programme in public policy cannot be overstated. In the recent past, two scoping studies on the doctoral landscape in African higher education undertaken for PASGR in 2010 and 2016 revealed that there is no single doctoral programme that provides solid grounding in research methods and its integration in multiple social science disciplines while facilitating the development of competencies to analysing and addressing key public policy issues. The current focus has been on integration of public policy with public administration and management. Only five of such doctoral programmes are captured in the 2010 HERANA survey; an example is the PhD in Public Policy and Administration offered by the University of Cape Town. Notably, these programmes are not collaborative but offered by individual universities and therefore, the design of a new doctoral initiative will offer and embed a new knowledge as well as an evidence based approach to public policy on the continent.

PASGR is interested in working with a consortium of African universities to design this new doctoral initiative. The proposed doctoral programme will provide a remarkable and unique opportunity for expanding the breadth and depth of an existing initiative: the collaborative Master of Research and Public Policy programme (MRPP). The consortium from which this partnership built is already well-functioning, visible and widely recognized for networking higher education institutions and enhancing their capacities to deliver a high quality and relevant postgraduate programme. Underpinning the MRPP is mutual and respectful collaboration and synergies that are driving the partnership to produce the next generation of public policy leaders and researchers. In three years, 28 students have graduated while 370 are in the graduation pipeline.