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Our Work

This page gives you an overview of our programmes, the policy domains and themes covered by INCLUDE in its research, policy debates and knowledge distribution.

COVID-19: challenging inclusive development in Africa

INCLUDE's dedicated page sharing knowledge on how the coronavirus pandemic and related interventions affect development programmes and the livelihoods of people in Africa.


Focus areas 2019–2022

Despite the recent two decades of high and sustained economic growth in many African countries, this growth has not translated into real economic transformation or an increase in wellbeing for the majority of Africans.

INCLUDE focuses on four policy areas that are key drivers of inclusive development:

  • economic growth with structural transformation
  • work and income for women and youth
  • access to, and use of, basic services, especially education and including social protection such as cash transfers
  • political participation and empowerment

Previous studies have documented that investments in these policy areas do not automatically lead to reduction in poverty and inequality. For development to be inclusive, four specific approaches and principles are essential

  • social equity (vulnerable populations)
  • spatial equity (marginal areas)
  • inclusive governance
  • political economy

You can read more about these themes and approaches in our concept note (in English and in French)


Knowledge agenda 2012-2018

The Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies (INCLUDE) was established in 2012 to promote evidence-based policymaking for inclusive development in Africa. It was initiated as a response to the failure of two decades of high economic growth in Africa to address poverty and inequality among large sections of the population. Three themes were identified within INCLUDE’s knowledge agenda that focus on key aspects of inclusive growth and the elimination of extreme poverty in African partner countries:

  • Productive employment: aimed to support research on promoting productive employment in Sub-Saharan African partner countries and a research-supported dialogue on employment promoting policies
  • Social protection: aimed to enhance insight into the role of social protection in achieving inclusive growth and the cost-effectiveness of its interventions
  • Strategic actors: investigated the role that strategic actors play in implementing policies that favour long-term inclusive development in Sub-Saharan African partner countries

In its first phase (2012–2018), INCLUDE supported 17 multi-country research projects on inclusive development, produced evidence-based knowledge, and shared this knowledge with Dutch and African policymakers and practitioners, while engaging them in policy dialogues. During this period, INCLUDE also encouraged its platform members to initiate concrete action at the country level to promote inclusive development. Towards this, INCLUDE supported 7 African Policy  Dialogues in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana and Mozambique that encourage the use of existing  knowledge in policy making and to facilitate the uptake of the findings of INCLUDE’s research projects.